An inventive and lyrical set of duos between Chicago tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Keefe Jackson and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, nine concise pieces that blend free improvisation with compositions seamlessly in a really delightful duo.
Jackson, Keefe / Jason Adasiewicz
Rows And Rows
Released in: USA
"Shaping their musical heritage together for 15 years, saxophonist Keefe Jackson and vibist Jason Adasiewicz have been vital in defining and refining "The Chicago Sound". Their relationship with Delmark has spanned over a decade; combined they have 20 albums on the label. On Rows And Rows, six of the nine original compositions were composed specifically for the session, while the remaining three are older tunes re-imagined for duo. The atmosphere of a jazz duet can paint one of the most personal and intimate musical conversations. This one brings the listener into their world, creating a social environment that you may want to tap your foot to, or even go a little further."-Delmark
"Keefe Jackson's tone is essential. Whether he's playing tenor saxophone or bass clarinet, which are of course as different as brass and wood, his sound is immediately identifiable. It's a deep, full tone that is shadowy and full of movement - like candlelight. I'm not romanticizing it. Those waxy wisps of smoky light are exactly what enable you to get to the bathroom in a power outage. Essential. Like that.
Because his tone is so rich - and his voice so varied - I've always wondered why he doesn't do more duo work. (I've not heard any solo work from him. A discussion for another time, I suppose.) He is well matched with powerhouse vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, whose stereophonic overtones, sustain and sharp mallet stings connect and contradict in all the right ways. On paper this promises to be one helluva textural ride.
And while that expectation is definitely delivered, the big surprise here is the meshing of composition and improvisation into such completeness that it's impossible to tell when composition ends and improvisation begins. Well... until the head repeats at the end of some of the pieces and you realize that the brilliant composition you've been listening to for the last two minutes was totally improvised. (Or was it?) The scope is varied throughout as well, running from East African melodicism on "Questioned, Understood, Possessed" to the bluesy old-school swing of the title track.
Several moments of transcendence include:
The selections here are relatively short. (There are nine pieces; the longest clocks in at 6:01.) To extend them into longer stretches might produce some interesting results, but ultimately the line that blurs composition and improvisation would most likely become more defined. And it's that blurred line that creates the magic. The way this disc is sequenced and presented, the magic can continue to live over multiple listening sessions. You won't get tired of the tunes either. They sneak up on you. You don't realize their strength until you've heard them multiple times. And you will definitely listen to them multiple times."-Tom Burris, Free Jazz Blog
Related Categories of Interest:
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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Catalog ID: DMK 5024
Squidco Product Code: 21683
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Huron in Chicago, Illinois on June 12th and 13th, 2015 by Griffin Rodriguez.
Keefe Jackson-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
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1. Cabollo Ballo 5:24
2. Questioned, Understood, Possessed 3:44
3. Where's Mine 4:39
4. A Rose Heading 4:25
5. Swap 4:05
6. Rows And Rows 4:01
7. Putting It On, Taking It Off 3:34
8. Cannon From The Nothing Suite 6:04
9. Thunder Cooker 6:08