Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet – “Time Like This” (Intakt, 2018)

“Time Like This” is new release of “Intakt Records”. Album was recorded by “Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet”. It’s a quartet, formed from innovative and great jazz masters – Tony Malaby (saxophone), Kris Davis (piano), Michael Formanek (bass, compositions) and Ches Smith (drums). The quartet has interesting and unique sound, which is collectively created by all members. Each musician is the master of improvising – all of them have their own sound, unique playing manner, suggestive and modern playing style and precise playing technique. Most part of the compositions is written by Michael Formanek. The compositions by this improviser have exceptional sound and modern musical language. Dozens of layers, colors, moods, expressions and independent melodies are mixed together. Difficult and complicated musical language contains bright, colorful, modern and innovative combos of styles and instruments. Each musician can experiment without any restrictions in all fields of musical language – that makes an effort to free, expressive, polyphonic, multi-colorful and innovative sound. The music is always somewhere between avant-garde and modern jazz styles – it’s based on spontaneous and inventive musical decisions.

“Time Like This” has dynamic sound, firm and pulsating rhythmic section, rich musical language and bright melodic section. The compositions are based on free improvisation, open form and mixed compounds of avant-garde and experimental jazz, bebop, post bop, other contemporary and modern jazz styles. Musicians are improvising creatively and free – they are using wide range of instruments, expressing different moods and combining together contrasting musical language elements. The sound of compositions is dynamic – it’s changing all the time. Musicians are expanding the abilities of their instruments and exploring new abilities, fresh ideas and new forms. That makes an effort to interesting, new, adventurous and bright sound. The main compound of all compositions is free improvisation. It joins together all four members of the quartet, mix contrasting and absolutely different elements of their music. Though most part of compositions are already arranged, each musician can easily change musical material, edit it and add something new in his own and original way. That makes an effort to free, open and astonishing space for musical experiments, brave and ambitious ideas, evocative and weird timbres and innovative musical decisions. The music is full of bright, expressive and turbulent culminations, who get across the soft, relaxing, peaceful and silent excerpts. The main elements of avant-garde jazz are mixed with expressive and moving solos, complicated rhythmic, sharp chords and difficult rhythmic forms, who relates straightly to bebop, hard bop and other modern jazz styles. Static, groovy and subtle mood, solid and stable rhythmic section, slow or mid-slow tempo, relaxing mood, soft sound recovers the other side of album. It makes a strong relation with cool, progressive, modal and various styles of contemporary, traditional or other early jazz styles. The mix of all kinds of jazz styles and tributes is made here. It makes an effort to colorful, bright and dynamic sound. Music never stays the same for too long time – it’s changing all the time. Musicians are changing playing manner, style, mood, rhythms and other elements of musical language. Multi-colorful, polyphonic and bright pattern with ornamented and illustrative background is created. Piano melodies are dynamic and gorgeous. From subtle, soft and relaxing solos it can suddenly get straight to moving solos, harsh, turbulent and vivid culminations or shrieky and repetitive tunes. Remarkable melodies, colorful and wild fast passages, moving, scandalous and rigorous solos, gorgeous timbres and sounds contain the main part of piano improvisations. Real burst of energy, wild thrills and expression is saxophone. Its imrpovisations are moving, bright and rapid for the most of the time, but there’s also many episodes, there saxophone is gentle, light and tender, slow and relaxing, vivid, moving and touching, aggressive and strict or simply beautiful and subtle. Vibrant and bright blow outs, thrilling bursts of energy, dizzy passages and dozens of innovative ways of playing make an effort to whole sound. It also gives the main tune and mood – brings life, drive and passion for the most of the time. Bass improvisations keep firm bass line, tight and solid harmonic pattern and colorfully illustrate the melodic section. It’s pulsating, dynamic and constantly changing. From subtle and silent solos it gets extremely rapid, moving and dizzy, passionate and bright, soft, vivid and gentle or dramatic and turbulent. All kinds of moods, expressions and playing techniques are used here. Drums section is vibrant, intense and pulsating. It gets across with stable and slow rhythms from time to time. Roaring drum rolls, touching passages, vibrant and loud fanfars, wild fast and effective arpeggios, repetitive series and numerous of other elements help musician to make universal, dynamic and solid rhythmic section, who makes a strong effort to all sections and sound of compositions. The music is gorgeous and bright – it has expressive, dynamic and colorful sound.

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