Jacob Sacks/Ellery Eskelin/Tony Malaby/Michael Formanek/Dan Weiss – ‘Fishes’ (Clean Feed, 2018)

‘Fishes’ is one of the newest releases released by “Clean Feed” records. Album was recorded by Jacob Sacks (piano), Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Tony Malaby (tenor, soprano saxophone), Michael Formanek (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums). Quintet has its own and unique sound – it’s based on natural, warm and interesting synthesis of individual playing styles of each musician. The musical language is created by all five musicians – each of them is trying to do his best and find organic, suggestive and innovative way of fusing together different playing techniques, contrasting playing manners, expressions, dynamics, weird timbres and unusual sounds. Spontaneous and free improvisation, collective and extremely loud energy explosions, abstract and calm solos, creative sound experiments or silent pauses – all these elements make an organic, bright and original playing style. Musicians have expressive and warm playing manner – some of them are mixing it with sharp, outrageous and weird timbres, vibrant blow outs, aggressive and turbulent riffs and other elements. Creative, moody and adventurous mix of different music styles and usical language elements make an effort to bright, intense and passionate sound of their improvisations.

‘Fishes’ has intense, loud, virtuosic and vivacious sound. The music is based on bright and eclectic stylistic combinations, expressive and touching solos, moving and rapid arpeggios and free, independent and original collective improvisations. Musicians base their music on collective improvisations and basics of avant-garde jazz. Innovative, bright, independent and unique – that’s how we could call the sound and interesting playing style of these musicians. The music is arranged very professionally and creatively – individual themes, colorful and expressive melodies, remarkable solos and innovative instrumentation decisions are masterfully fused together with spontaneous and unpredictable musical decisions, drastic changes of musical language by using wide range of different playing techniques. Compositions have interesting form, which is synthesized from pieces of classical and open forms of avant-garde jazz. Form is abstract and free, so each musician can reflect, search and express wide range of emotions, unusual sounds, timbres and innovative ways of playing. Improvisers are playing especially passionately and cordially – their music has fresh and innovative sound and very colorful musical language. Modern, extravagant, filled with eclectic combinations, stylistic waves or bright sound explosions – that’s the musical language of this album. Gorgeous timbres contain a colorul and solid background, which is connected with rhythms of Afroamerican, Western Africa, classical music of Western Europe, basic rhythms of avant-garde, experimental, modern and traditional jazz styles, contemporary dances, circus music or some rock styles and sharp, dramatic and expressive harmony. Melodic section is bright and expressive, it has intense, turbulent and effective sound – sometimes it’s more similar to great and huge storm, filled with strange noises, weird sounds and powerful bursts of energy. Piano, tenor and soprano saxophones and bass make a pleasant, colorful and interesting equation. Moving and touching piano solos are filled with passionate and wild fast passages, extremely fast arpeggio, original and interesting timbres, sharp tunes, aggressive, turbulent and intense episodes or gentle, light and sweet pieces. All these elements are masterfulyl joined together – pianist make a strong relation between avant-garde jazz and modern jazz styles. Saxophones melodies are suggestive and bright. Remarkable solos, aggressive and provocative playing, harsh, sharp and turbulent improvisations, powerful and terrific blow outs, luminous, vivacious and vivid melodies, deep bass line or wild and thrilling passages – musicians are the masters of fusing together different musical language elements. Two famous saxophonists have attractive, passionate, harsh, hot, sometimes even – aggressive and provocative playing manner. They are producing huge range of strange timbres, weird sounds and search for new and experimental ways of playing. Saxophones and piano duos or trios have remarkable, charming, touching and sparkling sound – that makes solid, independent and modern melodic section. Bass effects both sections – and melodic, and rhythmic. Dozens of virtuosic elements, frantic solos, dizzy and dramatic culminations, passionate passages and special effects make a strong contrast with deep, monotonic, dark and solid bass line, which form firm bass line. Bass improvisations are remarkable, rich and evocative – it makes an effort to melodic section and colorfully illustrates the rhythmic section and background. Drum section is bright, intense, electric and dynamic. It’s filled with dozens of different rhythms, who are creatively fused together all in one place. Mix of contrasting timbres, sounds, rhythms and colors, evocative and innovative instrumentation, modern musical decisions, rich and gorgeous musical language – all these elements make a turbulent, powerful, active and constantly changing drum section. The improvisations of this quintet are bright, intense and passionate – it has gorgeous, vivacious and innovative sound.

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