Friday, November 23, 2012

Esa Pietila Jeff Siegel Outdoors Artists Recording Collective 2012

I would liken this recording to perhaps something something left untouched if not completely ignored on the ECM shelf but having long since cut ties with the former label, it simply would not be justified. Esa Pietella is a musical visionary and when combined with the percussive onslaught of Jeff Siegel then both Pietella and Siegells welcome you to the land of the harmonic disengagement and the percussive nuance that magically reforms each piece into something new.

What is amazing when taken at face value is that Pietilla is without his regular quartet and there was but one rehearsal between Seiegel and Pietiella. There are baseless 4 tets, piano less trios, and a myriad of ensembles that explore the outer reaches that is the freedom or ground zero of jazz itself. Outdoors gives us a spontaneity lacking in so many other well rehearsed and well timed releases of sonic predictability and the appropriate ambiguity that simple comes along for the ride. "Outdoors" kicks the release off with a more free form open ended lyrical approach to the melody while the articulated percussive nuances guide the rhythmic direction of the piece itself. Pietillo explores every sonic inch of his weapon of choice that being the tenor saxophone. Spontaneous ambiguity centered in the midst of controlled chaos is indeed a beautiful thing. "Aurora Borealis" is in an introspective after thought, but of what? The northern lights? The effect of the northern lights, a Melody is search of a tune? Again the open ended approach with with Siegel and Pietilla is nothing short of brilliant and this my friends is a words tossed about with far too much relative ease and could easily double as laziness on the writer's part. Pietiella is controlled and precise while sightly methodically in his performance, Siegel conducts a percussive exploratory and together two voice become one. Layers of textures and a detached ambivalence to their craft leaving the listener wanting more. Aurora Borealis is indeed a master class. "Power Orbit" is just that, the controlled sonic fury that is the innate gift to shirt meter, harmonics and dynamics for effect on the fly. The amazing aspect of Oudoors is that a drummer, tenor saxophone duet is rarely if ever hear with perhaps Ive Pereleman that last player I can recall attempting such a fight of fancy.

While comparing artists and often labels leaves me cold...Esa Pietilla and Jeff Siegel and both exemplary artists that could easily stand along side any ECN artist and literally blow their socks off. A master class of what to do and more importantly what not to do. To dwell on hyper criticism s not how I roll...As close to perfect as you can get if you are looking for that happy place between hard bop and free jazz. A  superlative recording.

Tracks: Out Doors; Waves; Aurora Borealis; Power Orbit; The Voice Behind The Graat Wall of Manitou; Serpentine; Road Trip; Death Of The Rain Foreast; Door to Door; Democrats and Republicans; Spaceyard; Milky Way; Anthem Of The Out Doors; Seep Trap.

Personnel: Esa Pietila: tenor saxophone; Jeff Siegel: drums and percussion.

- “Esa is one of Finland's leading jazz musicians. I recommend his albums, which show his scope and imagination as a player.” - Professor Stuart Nicholson, Author, Journalist, UK

- "While never resorting to the tired bag of tricks that so few have been able to resist before him". - Cadence, USA

- "A prowess visionary and improviser" - Finnish Music Information Center