Last February I was pleased to review the remarkable DVD Virtual Tour: Reduced Carbon Footprint on my Gapplegate Music Blog. (See http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com/2016/02/virtual-tour-reduced-carbon-footprint.html.) It was an ambitious gathering of three fine ensembles playing elaborate compositions and improvising around them in two or three locations at the same time via advanced internet hookups.
Bassist-composer Mark Dresser was a crucial participant. Now we have a sort of follow-up with Dresser leading a seven-tet, some of the members of which were a part of the Virtual Tour. Along with Dresser we have a significant gathering of Nicole Mitchell on soprano and alto flutes, Marty Ehrlich on clarinet and bass clarinet, David Morales Boroff on violin. Michael Dessen on trombone, Joshua White on piano and Jim Black on drums and percussion.
The album is Sedimental You (Clean Feed 385), a word play referencing the standard “Sentimental You” as well as underscoring the importance of instrumental layering in the delightfully complex modern avant jazz fare we hear on this landmark album.
Seven composition-arrangements by Dresser define the set. They are beautifully detailed, freely sprawling significances for the trajectory and memorability of the melodic-harmonic spectrum each distinctively maps out.
At the same time there is a freedom both in ensemble moments and in solo work by Mark and the others.
This is jazz composition of a very original and satisfying sort, modern original music by a remarkable ensemble of players who interpret their parts and improvise as called upon in stellar ways.
This may be the jazz composition album of the year for me, or at least one of the very few most original and ravishing to come out.
Anyone interested in what’s NEW in jazz should not hesitate. Get this!