Heath Watts / M.j. Williams / Nancy Owens / Blue Armstrong – “Sensoria” (Leo Records, 2018)

CD LR 831

“Sensoria” was released this year by “Leo Records”. Album was recorded by four interesting and creative avant-garde jazz masters – Heath Watts (soprano saxophone), M.J. Williams (trombone, piano, melodica, voice), Nancy Owens (violin) and Blue Armstrong (acoustic double bass). Four musicians are creating four different improvisations. Their music is somewhere between contemporary jazz, avant-garde jazz, modern jazz and experimental music. Each of them has its own playing and improvising style, which was formed and masterfully improved through the years of creative activity. Unpredictable and extravagant musical decisions, expressive, passionate and vivacious improvising, inventive and spontaneous musical experiments, loud, vibrant and powerful solos – all the main elements of these compositions are combined together in one place. Different moods, characters, expressions and other elements of musical language are used silmunateously. The contrasts between improvisations of each musician are heared very clearly and brightly. The music of these four musicians always has interesting, modern and creative sound.

The compositions of their newest album have all the main element of these four musicians playing and improvising style. Eclectic and interesting combinations of different moods and characters, huge range of musical language elements, colorful and bright contrasts, rich and evocative musical language – all these elements contain the basics of these compositions. The compositions are based on subtle, effective and masterful synthesis between avant-garde jazz, various rhythmic and melodic modern jazz intonations and contemporary academical music. The melodic pattern is especially expressive, contrasting and bright. Vivid and active saxophone melodies, dramatic violin, bright trombone melodies, vivid and impressive piano solos are the main elements of these improvisations. Soprano saxophone melodies are filled with emotional and passionate solos. Active, lengthy and playful solos grow to rigorous and sharp blow outs, turbulent collective improvisations, dramatic culminations or subtle and silent pieces. It’s also full of various unusual timbres, strange noises and special sound effects. Bright, loud, deep and solid trombone melodies highly differs from the soprano saxophone – its deep, bass and vibrant solos are contrasting with joyful, playful and expressive soprano saxophone solos, shrieky and sharp blow outs. Violin melodies are full of vivacious and expressive solos. It brings to the compositions the sound of academic avant-garde and experimental music. Even though violin melodies are based on absolutely free and spontaneous improvisations, it also has many intonations of contemporary academical music and especially – academic avant-garde and experimental music. Free, dramatic and passionate solos are colorfully illustrated with special sound effects, experimental and innovative violin playing techniques and unusual timbres. Piano melodies are heard just in some compositions – it brings the intonations of bebop and other modern jazz styles. Free, wild fast and rapid solos are based on monotonic and active rhythmic, sharp harmony and especially expressive playing. Acoustic double bass melodies fit with all the other instrument’s improvisations, but the most of all – trombone and violin melodies. Deep, vibrant, subtle and expressive sound is formed by huge variety of experimental ways of playing, dynamic rhythmic, contrasting episodes, deep and monotonic bass line. All four musicians together create free improvisations, which are based on interesting and innovative improvising and have astonishing sound.

9 thoughts on “Heath Watts / M.j. Williams / Nancy Owens / Blue Armstrong – “Sensoria” (Leo Records, 2018)”

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