Saturday, March 31, 2012

Steve Horowitz New Monsters Posi-Tone 2012

Having long maintained knowing a little something about the record label can go along way in not only shopping for but discovering great jazz. With New Monsters, Posi-Tone has tossed in a hanging curve ball that you can still hit but the timing has to be right. In short, expect the unexpected!

Bay area bassist Steve Horowitz has taken a unique position amidst a label known for its more steady swinging approach coupled with some adventurous if not accessible avant-garde and brought together a band with chops to burn for a master class in theory and composition 101. "Imperfect Life" opens this scary beast but typifies the release as well if not better than any tune you may come across. Punctuated with a dynamic rhythmic pop, shifting meter and a unique if not oddly lyrical two pronged harmonic attack from tenor saxophonist Dan Plonsey and Steve Adams who pulls off the woodwind hat trick by playing alto, soprano saxophone and flute adds a nice organic texture to a sonic exploration that seems limitless at times.  A much shorter "Journey To The East" (2:10) is my post accounts the equivalent of a post bop snippet but there is an intense simplicity that embraces the zen like less is more philosophy of no notes wasted. A sonic exploratory that lives in the moment. The title track "New Monsters" may well be the other best track on this release kicking off with a syncopated swing, a lyrical walking bass line pulled off with precision and a true jazz collective displaying their immense arsenal of sonic firepower for all to partake.

New Monsters is a new experience for some, post bop pushed to a more free form edge while remaining just on the fringe off accessibility. Captivating comps, wondrous hooks and dramatic overtones and all running throughout odd time signatures. New Monsters works because with all of this sonic "busy work" taking place the urge to cross over to the pretentious or the speed is king mentality that would make this release the flavor of the month is carefully avoided. A harmonic feast for the senses that may just bite you back! New Monsters is a fresh, bold and while somewhat edgy approach is a post bop excursion into some uncharted waters that is well worth the trip.

Track Listing: Imperfect Life; Mirror Earth; Journey To The East; India/Red Planet; New Monsters; Vision Pyramid Collapse; Miracle Melancholy; Dragon Of Roses; New Boots For Bigfoot; Shattered Silence; Brains For Breakfast; Herald Of Zombies; Cylinder.

Personnel: Dan Plonsey: tenor saxophone; Steve Adams: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Scott Looney: piano; Steve Horowitz: bass; Jim Bove: drums.

Don't forget you can purchase via itunes or amazon if so interested.