Thursday, December 5, 2013

Shayna Dulberger, Ache & Flutter

Lest we forget that "and Bass" is in the title of this review blog, it is time to get back to some new releases by bassists. Up today is a new album by Shayna Dulberger, upright bassist of tensile strength and inventiveness. The album is a quartet outing, titled Ache & Flutter (Empty Room Music 006) and it is excellent. This is music in the avant, open free jazz zone. It ripples with charged energy.

The band is Shayna plus Chris Welcome on electric guitar, Yori Kretzmer on tenor sax, and Carlo Costa on drums. This is what's great about Brooklyn, or one of the things. Jazz artists of stature, both known and unknown, live there and there is continual cross-fertilizations going on all the time, something so necessary for a "scene" to come about. Here are four artists you may not know very well but it takes a Brooklyn to get them together and get them TOGETHER, so to say.

There are eleven short numbers, all written by Ms. Dulberger, all driving the music and giving the players paces to slot into and thrive. And they do. Shayna has that very percussive push that reminds me of Mingus. Whether soloing, teaming up in a killer rhythm tandem with Carlo Costa, forming a four-way persona in ensemble improvisations or getting involved with the compositional motives, she shows what an artist she is on the bass. It is no accident that William Parker, bass titan, writes some very complementary liner notes in the inner sleeve of this album. She is a heavy and shows us how and why on this album.

But the band is hot, too. Costa is a drummer of excellent musicality and gets a head of froth going when needed or lays back and swings strongly but not loudly. Chris Welcome plays lines on the guitar that identify him as Chris Welcome, himself and nobody else. They are melodically-harmonically out but also mostly linear in that horizontal lining sense that lays the artist bare before the listening ear and puts the immediacy at stake at every moment.

Yori Kretzmer has character in his tenorism. He has lots of SOUND in his playing, controlled human utterance plus outness that can be gruff or winding along post Lester-Trane-Rivers. It's the what as well as the how with him too, since these are hip out lines going places but also sounding skywards.

What we have is 42 important minutes of music, showing this band to be a contender on the avant scene today, showing Shayna a bandleader that (I sure hope) is here to stay, a very good writer of the structured tune-composition frameworks, and a bassist that is right there, right here, right wherever she is, a real player!

So if what I wrote just now makes you think you might like this one--believe me I am not saying it all for my health! It is what it is--but what that is, IS! In the best sense of IS!

For more information on Shayna Dulberger's recordings and to order paste the following address into your browser and hit "enter":

No comments:

Post a Comment