The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL

  PayPal

  Mastercard

  Visa

  Discover

  American Express



© 2002-2016, Squidco LLC

A quartet session of composition and improvisation headed by drummer Nick Fraser with Tony Malaby (sax), Andrew Downing (cello) and Rob Clutton (bass), exploring the essence of freedom and abstraction in contemporary jazz.
 

Fraser, Nick
Towns and Villages

Fraser, Nick: Towns and Villages (Barnyard)
Label: Barnyard    
Released in: Canada    


"A jazz musician who does many things well, and Nick Fraser does many things very well indeed, could easily lose sight of himself in the clamour for his services. No musician is in greater demand on the Toronto scene these days than the 36-year-old drummer and yet Fraser, to his credit, has established a fascinating body of work that's entirely his own, one that documents a consistently thoughtful, left-of-centre perspective on contemporary jazz.

Beginning with his first trio CD, Owls in Daylight (1997), continuing through his recordings with the quintet Drumheller - Drumheller (2005), Wives (2006) and Glint (2009) - and turning now to Towns and Villages, a quartet session with the New York saxophonist Tony Malaby, Fraser has explored the nature of freedom and abstraction in jazz, moving unassumingly, yet imaginatively, in, out of, between and beyond the music's various traditions.

It's in his compositions, which are typically the slightest of melodic turns, sometimes with an Ornette-ish curl - just a few notes repeated, and repeated again, to both catchy and compelling effect. And it's in his drumming, which is measured more in velocity than in volume, but measured all the same - a fast, shifting undertow of precisely struck and carefully shaped textures and rhythms.

As an aside, it's worth musing that Drumheller, also the name of a town in southern Alberta, is the better part of an anagram for "Hell of a drummer." Enough said.

Fraser's apparent fascination with Canada's smaller communities continues on Towns and Villages, which features group improvisations named for Prescott and Spencerville in eastern Ontario and Hundred Mile House in southeastern British Columbia; a musician does not tour Canada as often as Fraser has without getting to know its highways, byways and stopovers.

Fraser originally intended Towns and Villages to present Tony Malaby in the company of two bassists, Torontonians Andrew Downing and Rob Clutton, a format, he suggests, that was inspired by Ornette Coleman's recent quartet and by such recordings as Bill Dixon's two volumes of Vade Mecum, Joe Lovano's Universal Language and Dewey Redman's Soundsigns; still other recordings by Albert Ayler and the young Tony Williams also come to mind, and in fact Ayler and Williams seem no less like fleeting points of reference for Towns and Villages than Coleman, Dixon, Lovano and Redman.

In the event, Downing, who is also an accomplished cellist, proposed the alternative instrumentation heard here; his cello serves either as a keening second voice to Malaby's taut, sculpted tenor and soprano solos, all sinew and strain, or as complementary counterweight to the heft and purpose of Clutton's steadfast bass lines.

Fraser in turn makes the most, and the best, of his resources to give each of the 12 pieces on Towns and Villages - no matter how free, no matter how abstract, from the rumble and grind of Prescott: The Fort Town to the dark, stirring beauty of Ballad for Lydia - its own sense of logic, proportion and clarity.-Mark Miller






Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Toronto Area Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings



Search for other titles on the Barnyard label.


Other Recommended Releases:
Sult (Dryer / Heule / Moe / Skaset)
Svimmelhed
(Conrad Sound-Humbler Records)
Drumheller
Sometimes Machine
(Barnyard)
Smith, Ches and These Arches (Smith / Berne / Malaby / Halvorson / Parkins)
Hammered
(Clean Feed)
Martin / Lozano / Lewis / Wiens / Duncan
At Canterbury
(Barnyard)
Hobson's Choice
Of The Waves
(Barnyard)
Reveries, The
Matchmakers Volume 2: The Music of Sade
(Barnyard)
Martin, Haynes and Driver
Freedman at Western Front
(Barnyard)
Element Choir, The & William Parker
At Christ Church Deer Park
(Barnyard)
T H O M A S
Janela
(Barnyard)
Saint Dirt Elementary School
Abandoned Ballroom
(Barnyard)
Barnyard Drama
Memories and a List of Things to Do
(Barnyard)
Parker / Neal / Sorbara
At Somewhere There
(Barnyard)
Rampersaud / Shaw / Neal / Martin / Krakawiac
Halcyon Science130410
(Barnyard)
AIMToronto Orchestra
Year of the Boar
(Barnyard)
Southworth, John
Human Cry
(Barnyard)
Gill, Tania
Bolger Station
(Barnyard)
Lewis, Downing & Martin
On a Short Path from Memory to Forgotten
(Barnyard)
Parker, William
At Somewhere There
(Barnyard)



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Mount Meander (Auzins / Leidinger / Jacobson / Sauerborn)
Mount Meander
(Clean Feed)
Sikora, Catherine
Jersey
(Relative Pitch)
Lume (Barroso / Chochofel / Gaspar / Reis / Silva / Toscano / Menezes / Coelho / Charrinho / Monteiro / Marques / Cunha / Lala / Vicente / Amado / Machado)
Xabregas 10
(Clean Feed)
Blonk, Jaap / Damon Smith
Hugo Ball: Sechs Laut- Und Klanggedichte 1916 (Six Sound Poems, 1916)
(Balance Point Acoustics)
WHO Trio (Hemingway / Wintsch / Oester)
Zoo [2 CDS]
(Auricle)
Amado, Rodrigo Motion Trio & Peter Evans
The Freedom Principle
(NoBusiness)
Lake / Weber / Ulrich Feat. Nils Wogram
All Decks - Live At Unerhort
(Intakt)
Ullen, Lisa
Catachresis
(Nuscope)
Price: $13.95
In Stock


Quantity:

Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None









Product Information:

UPC: 777320172020

Label: Barnyard
Catalog ID: BR0330
Squidco Product Code: 17384

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Canada
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded on February 18th and 19th, 2012 by Jean Martin and Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Studios, Toronto.

Personnel:

Nick Fraser-drums

Tony Malaby-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Andrew Downing-cello

Rob Clutton-double bass

Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search


Track Listing:

1. Prescott: The Fort Town 2:22

2. Sketch #10 3:47

3. Tricycle 4:28

4. Sketch #12 6:39

5. Revolution 4:57

6. Albs 4:30

7. Spencerville: Home Of The Heritage Grist Mill 3:43

8. Sketch #9 4:19

9. Ballad For Lydia 3:55

10. Bicycle 2:24

11. "?" 5:09

12. Hundred Mile House, Pop. 1885 3:50