West Coast trombonist and electronic artist Michael Dessen's electroacoustic trio with bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss, balancing detailed compositions and radically open improvisation that equally embraces groove-based improv and soundscape.
Dessen, Michael Trio
Label: Clean Feed
Released in: Portugal
"California-based trombonist Michael Dessen has been quietly but steadily collecting accolades for his expansive work as a composer and improviser, which includes creating music for telematic concerts that link performers across continents via the internet, composing screen-displayed, software-generated "scorestreams," and peforming in Mark Dresser's acclaimed quintet where he forms the horn line with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa.
But it is with his own electro-acoustic trio, which he has been honing for a decade now, that we find Dessen's unique musical voice distilled in its most pure form. Dessen's third trio album, Resonating Abstractions, marks a new level of depth to the singular approach that critics acclaimed in the group's previous two releases, including the telepathic chemistry and phenomenal virtuosity of his renowned bandmates Chris Tordini (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums).
At the heart of this trio has always been a fascinating encounter between two extremes - intricate, detailed compositions and radically open improvisation - infused at times with live electronics to add another layer of dimensionality to the sonic palette. Rather than simply alternate between scored materials and improvisation, the musicians internalize complex structures and find new ways to bring them to life in each performance, blurring completely the boundaries between improvisation and composition to achieve an organically integrated whole.
Resonating Abstractions, a new work that Dessen created for the trio to peform in a single, continuous set, was recorded after a tour that enabled the musicians to mine the composition for new possibilities each night, and was done with minimal takes and no overdubs to capture the "live" spirit so central to Dessen's music. Commissioned through the prestigious "New Jazz Works" award given by Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation, Resonating Abstractions draws its inspiration from seven contemporary, abstract painters, but rather than try to depict their work, Dessen describes the music more as a dialogue, at times responding to formal aspects of the paintings but at other times to the artists' working process or their ideas.
The result is a wide-ranging flow of musical spaces, from polyrhythmic grooves to spacious soundscapes, from delicate nuance to visceral, dense impact. A remarkable compositional achievement, Resonating Abstractions embodies AllAboutJazz critic Robert Bush's praise that "Dessen's music is so fresh and innovative that there are few precedents with which to compare it.... A stunning example of creative, adventurous music, utterly devoid of cliché, stretching even the frontiers of free jazz beyond recognition." "-Clean Feed
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 291
Squidco Product Code: 18600
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded at Systems Two in Brooklyn on January 4, 2013. Mixed and mastered by Rich Breen.
Michael Dessen-trombone, electronics
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