Matt Nelson and Ben Cohen – “Resonant Sources” (Eschatology Records, 2020)

“Resonant Sources” was recorded by two great jazz masters – it’s Matt Nelson (bass) and
Ben Cohen (saxophone). Both musicians are the active members of contemporary avant-garde jazz scene. Inventive and extended playing techniques, modern expressions, rare and eclectic stylistic combos, gorgeous timbres, and ornaments of all ranges – by using their fantasy, splendid virtuosity and creativity, the musicians manage to create rich and universal musical language. Their playing manner is especially expressive – hot thrills meet silent pauses, meditative samples go along with shrieky exclamations, roaring riffs, tremendous culminations or impressive free improvisations. These main elements of their playing style are the fundaments of the newest album “Resonant Sources” released this year by “Eschatology Records”.

The compositions of “Resonant Sources” are based on avant-garde and experimental jazz. A connection to the main tendencies of contemporary academical also is made – the musicians are using extended playing techniques, modern innovations, abstract forms, some elements of sonoristic or spectral music, academic avant-garde and interesting fusions of different styles. The main melody line is created by saxophone. Ben Cohen is the master of his art. His music is bright, evocative, interesting and filled with colorful virages. An improviser demonstrates a masterful ability to move from the one mood to another without any force. From silent, lyrical, soft, gentle, sometimes fragile, solemn or ambient and dark, the music suddenly turns out to be frantic, shrieky, luminous, dramatic and sparkling. After slow meditative pieces played in lyrical and relaxing mood, there comes terrific riffs, expressive melodies accompagnied by transcendental passages, full blasts of energy, burning sparkles, instant improvisations and wild culminations. Strange timbres, hot growls, urglings, furious or hysteric solos – all these elements are integrated to the main musical pattern and create an enchanting rich musical language with especially intense ornamental texture. The changes between these two basical moods – expressive explosions with full blasts and meditative solemn pieces – are silmunateously changed and connected to one place in the most delicat and organic way. The music is especially emotional and bright – it’s impossible to predict there’s it going to turn next. Darkly shadowed, haunted, abandonned, heavy and silent pieces meet hysteric frantic riffs, fascinating shows, passionate thrills, luminous dramatic culminations tinged with vital ornaments, colorful solos, impressive passages and enchanting melodies. All that makes an independent, remarkable and bright melody line which also brings drive, passion, vitality and vividness to the compositions. A rhythmic section is as much interesting and bright as melody line. Deep and stable bass line formed by repetitive series and monotonous tunes is just one little part of bass improvisations. Matt Nelson also is experimenting on instrumental and timbral capacities of his instruments – that’s why his music is filled with strange timbres, astonishing sonoristic experiments, inventive ideas, extended playing techniques, rare combos and dynamic turns. His music is moving and thrilling – along with stable bass line, the musician is creating remarkable melodies which grow straight to roaring riffs, terrific culminations, breaking sessions, expressive trills, pizzicatto, glissando, other expressions, abbreviations and ornaments. All that finally makes an effort to driving, passionate and inspiring sound of bass line. The music of this album is filled with fresh ideas, evocative decisions and played with love, drive and expression.

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