Eva Novoa’s Ditmas Quartet – “Live at iBeam” (Fresh Sound Records, 2018)

Live at IBEAM - Eva Novoa's Ditmas Quartet

“Live at iBeam” was released by “Fresh Sound Records” on 2018. Album was recorded by “Eva Novoa’s Ditmas Quartet” – it’s en ensemble, who  plays evocative, interesting and bright avant-garde jazz. The members of ensemble are experienced and creative jazz masters – it’s Eva Novoa (piano, Chinese gongs on #6), Michaël Attias (alto sax, baritone sax on #2), Max Johnson (bass) and Jeff Davis (drums). The musicians are famous at international avant-garde jazz scene – they had been improvising for many years, formed their own and effective playing style and collaborated with dozens of jazz masters. The music doesn’t have one main style or genre – all compositions are based on basics of free improvisational music, avant-garde, experimental, modern and contemporary jazz styles. The fusion of genuine elements of different styles makes contrasting and colorful pattern.  Here four musicians are improvising with drive and passion. They use their imagination for expansion of instruments abilities, bright and new ways of playing, sound experiments, gorgeous experiments, ecclectic styles combos and surprises. Spontaneous, wild and creative improvisations have remarkable and dynamic sound.

“Live at iBeam” is filled with contrasts, bright accents and dynamic turns. The compounds of different playing maners, tunes, timbres and expressions are collected together in one pattern. The variety of styles and its combos is the key of music. Musicians like eclectic, evocative, weird or even crazy, eccentric or extravagant musical decisions, instrumental and stylistic combos. All main styles of jazz are used here and joined together. Huge variety of different elements, manners and styles brings colorful, contrasting, unpredictable and passionate sound. Musicians are expressing dozens of motions – they masterfully dive from ecstasy, glory and drama to aggressive, furious, tremendous, terrific or light, relaxing and romantic excerpts. It seems like, where’s no border between growling, rapid and touching melodies who suddenly get silent, calm and dreamy. Free improvisations have their own forms and the methods of playing, who are iniciated and used by musicians. Rapid, turbulent and frantic saxophone by Michaël Attias gives main tune to whole album and melodic line. The saxophonist has bright, hot, aggressive and sharp playing style, driving playing manner and marvelous playing techniques. Vibrant, expressive and extremely loud free improvisations are full of frantic solos, shrieky and harsh tunes, impressive passages, wild fast and expressive melodies, weird tunes and sound experiments. But that’s – just one side of his improvisations. Dramatic and furious improvisations get slow, calm and relaxing in various episodes. Calm, conventional and remarkable improvisations are based on cool, fusion and other contemporary jazz styles. Simple facture, slow, fabulous and remarkable melodies, traditional harmony, slow tempo, monotonic facture is against trembling arpeggio, moving and vivid solos, hot and terrific bursts of energy, breaking sessions and other elements. Saxophone is colorful, bright and dynamic. It forms strong base of melodic line and dictates the mood of the compositions. Growls, whistles, romantic and slow riffs, solemn and contemplative excerpts finally grow directly to marvelous, effective, driving and impressive culminations with innovative instrumentation, fantastic playing and inventive musical decisions. Piano improvisations are based on similar styles like saxophone. Eva Novoa has expressive and hot playing technique, who’s changing to calm, relaxing, solemn and dreamy mood from time to time. Piano and saxophone makes a great combo – two musicians are very sensitive to each other’s music. Nice combos of instruments, eclectic or exotic stylistic pairs, bright and intense culminations, breaking sessions, harsh, terrific and fantastic chords sequences, impressive ornaments, roaring roulades or flowing passages – all these elements gently fit together. Pianist gently goes from the one mood to another – hot sparkles, intense and vibrant bursts of energy, weird timbres, monotnic sequences of chords, subtle, meditative or relaxing compositions, gentle and light solos, tremendous culminations and dozens of special effects, experimental playing techniques and extended expressions. Piano improvisations are full of contrasts, colorful, moving, emotional and fascinating solos, tremendous melodies, bright accaents, gorgeous timbres and wide variety of styles and rhythms. Subtle, lyrical and calm mood is brought in by bass. Repetitive tunes, meditative rhythmic, strong bass line are against harsh tunes, moving and dynamic tunes, passionate solos, trembling, intense and vibrant melodies – all these elements contain main base of Max Johnson’s music. Improviser likes to switch between dozens of emotions and senses – from abandoned and depressive, music gets dramatic, nervous, harsh, terrific, turbulent or gorgeous, light, romantic and calm. Jeff Davis leads the drums section. It’s dynamic and variable. Monotonic and stable beat, calm rhythms of contemporary and cool jazz burst in furious, aggressive and expressive solos, turbulent free improvisations, series of trembling rhythms or gorgeous timbres. Huge variety of rhythms creates bright, intense and solid rhythmic section. Four musicians create rich, bright and original musical pattern. Expressions, bordering dynamics, turbulent and energetic culminations, wild free improvisations, calm pauses, solemn and serious episodes or silent pauses create original and bright sound.

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