Avant-garde violinist Maneri's latest release is an ambitious work of thoughtfully constructed free jazz.
New York jazz violinist Mat Maneri made his reputation as a cerebral composer and spirited performer trying to push jazz into new territory. His latest release, “Sustain,” is an ambitious work of dizzyingly diverse musical ideas that is as thoughtfully constructed as it is affecting. “Sustain” is part of the Blue Series on the Thirsty Ear label. Not unlike the ’60s imprint Impulse Records, the Blue Series — directed by avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp — attempts to provide an atlas of the far-flung elements of free jazz.
Maneri’s current quartet of Craig Taborn (keyboards), Gerald Cleaver (percussion), and William Parker (bass) is supported by like-minded multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, whose soprano sax and theoretical bent mesh perfectly with the group. The nine songs on “Sustain” are arranged with an almost architectural sensibility: Four ensemble tracks alternate with solo pieces by each of the five players. The solos have the word “alone” in the title, a good indicator of the lonely mood that pervades the record.
Indeed, everything about the music seems to evoke distance, from Maneri’s haunting Chinoiserie on the first solo to McPhee’s Andean reminiscence on the last. The decidedly more uptempo ensemble pieces show the players’ remarkable sophistication, creating a dense but economical performance with a surprising vulnerability just below the surface.
“Sustain” is out now on Thirsty Ear Records.
More Related Stories
- The best of Tumblr porn
- From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?
- What does it really feel like to fall out of a building?
- How Dan Savage lost it
- Is the Environmental Defense Fund ruining environmentalism?
- Nancy Jo Sales on L.A. celeb robbers: "The Bling Ring kids were depressed"
- “Arrested Development,” hurry up and get here so you can stop being so annoying
- Top 5 investigative videos of the week: "Winning" Afghanistan
- Will U.S. amphibians become endangered species?
- Must-do's: What we like this week
- Josh Ritter makes his "Blood on the Tracks"
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Jester clowns Westboro Baptist Church
- GOP: Party of crybabies
- What's 2013's "Gone Girl"? Here are this summer's best reads
- Twitter talks back: Obama's missed salute
- Fox executive behind "Does Someone Have to Go?" leaving the network
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Guantánamo prisoner on hunger strike cries for help on Twitter
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11