Devin Drobka’s Bell Dance Songs – “Amaranth” (Shifting Paradigm Records, 2018)

“Amaranth” is a new release of “Shifting Paradigm Records”. Album was recorded by “Devin Drobka’s Bell Dance Songs” – it’s Daniel Blake (tenor and soprano saxophones), Patrick Breiner (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet), Chris Weller (tenor saxophone and effects pedals), Aaron Darrell (acoustic bass) and Devin Drobka (drums and cymbals and compositions). The quintet is filled with passionate, bright and evocative ideas. Each musician has much experience in international jazz scene – unique sound, original playing manner and spontaneous improvising are connected in one fusion. The music has rich and multi-colorful pattern, expressive and modern musical language and innovative instrumentation. Wide stylistic variety, gorgeous ornaments, charming and dizzy passages, special effects, electronics and colorful expressions contain important part of musical pattern. Basics of avant-garde jazz, turbulent free improvisations are mixed with nervous, aggressive, stormy, angry and especially expressive bebop solos. All musicians are experimenting in various cases of musical language – they produce numerous of wierd and outrageous timbres, noisy and harsh tunes, innovative musical decisions and make dynamic stylistic changes. Their creativity and passion to improvise free, brightly and with drive makes an effort to original and remarkable sound.

“Amaranth” is created with expression and passion. Album is filled with turbulent free improvisations, basics of avant-garde jazz and modern jazz styles. Musicians don’t hesitate to make their own and original playing techniques, produce weird sounds or make eclectic, provocative or exotic combos. The music is totally based on various styles of avant-garde and modern jazz. All of them have abstract musical pattern, open form, colorful and modern harmony and experimental instrumentation. The newest and modern tendencies of avant-garde jazz are used together with modern jazz styles and the roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz and his main legends. The musicians keep active and firm mode – their playing manner is aggressive, sharp and expressive, filled with surprises and sudden turns. Twists and marvelous passings between different moods, expressions and characters brings passionate, touching and charming sound. The musical pattern is constructed from many different layers, pieces and polyphonic facture. Independent melodies have their own mood and character, are based on difficult and complicated musical language. Tenor saxophones, clarinets, bass clarinets and soprano saxophone improvisations make the basic of musical pattern. Daniel Blake, Patrick Breiner and Chris Weller are improvising just marvelous. Their music is filled with surprises and fascinating musical experiments. All of them has variable musical language, colorful and expressive playing manner and bright sound. Their music is based on moving and rapid solos, vigilent, stormy and aggressive culminations, passionate and charming passages, vibrant blow outs and astonishing riffs. The music has active and rapid mood for the most of the time. The musicians don’t hesitate to add special effects, modified timbres, alterations, wide range of scales and styles, bordering dynamics and all kinds of variations. The melodies have difficult and polyphonic structure, open form and abstract pattern. Charming and moving solos are fused together with subtle and relaxing pieces, vivid and gentle improvisations or simply beautiful, passionate and driving excerpts. Reeds contain the main base of music – these instruments gently go along with bass and drums, bring live and energy and maintain solid, independent and bright melodic section. Acoustic bass by Aaron Darrell’s is subtle and dynamic at the same time. Bassist masterfully fuses together wide range of styles, expressions, manners and sounds. From subtle, relaxing and peaceful excerpts music goes straightly to moving and charming passages, bright and electric riffs, vivacious and furiously loud solos, turbulent culminations or calms down with repetitive, stable and firm bass line. The bass has many functions here – at first, it form bright and firm bass line, who is harmonic pattern at the same time. It also makes an effort to melodic section – add dynamic, a little bit lyrical, a little expressive melodies, who are highly different from the reeds. That’s how is created another side of album.  The contrasts between the instruments especially hears at collective improvisations – wide range of colors, moods, manners and expressions bring the colors, passion and harsh bursts of energy. The percussion and drums section is leaded by Devin Drobka. Gorgeous and light sound of cymbals, combined with other percussion instruments, combined with special effects and electronics – that’s the main way of improvising, who Devin Drobka is using. Talented drummer fuses together free and turbulent improvisations, expressive, hot and thrilling culminations, subtle and abstract solos, passionate and light excerpts, and many other things. All that makes solid, independent and colorful rhythmic base. The album has gorgeous, innovative and expressive sound – all compositions are made with passion, thrill and drive.

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