V:NM FESTIVAL GRAZ Ostereich 2009

 w/PIRATES SOUTH EAST


Jeder der fünf hat schon weltweit mit nahezu unzähligen Improvisern gespielt. Zinman nennt sein Treffen mit Bill Dixon 1981 als wichtigsten Einfluss auf sein musikalisches Denken und Handeln. Der Pianist versteht Dynamik als Rhythmus und Rhythmus als Form, sein unbedingtes Ziel in einem Ensemble ist „Empathy in Action“.

-Marcus Maida-

 

 

Italian Review of CJR 1187 ERIC ZINMAN ENSEMBLE 2004

Eric Zinman piano /John Voigt bass/ Laurence Cook drums

Pochi sanno che la fredda e piovosa Boston, il luogo del primo atto di ribellione anti inglese, passato alla storia come Boston tea Party, il centro tradizionale della cultura accademica americana, la sede dei piĚ prestigiosi istituti universitari di ricerca - il MIT, Harvard e la Boston University, per  citare alcune istituzioni -, Ź anche una cittą con una fervida attivitą musicale, non solo nel periodo d’oro dello swing e del Bebop, ma anche della scena free jazz e dell’improvvisazione in genere. Alla locale Berklee College of Music hanno studiato alcuni dei nomi piĚ noti della scena jazzistica mondiale, quali Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Toshiko Akiyoshi e Joe Zawinul; Joe Morris, Ken Vandermark, Bill Dixon, Charlie Kohlhase, Glenn Spearmann sono altri personaggi di spicco che hanno calcato le platee dei piccoli club cittadini. Tra i protagonisti della scena bostoniana a cavallo degli anni ’80 e ’90, Eric Zinman, piano, John Voigt, basso e Lawrence Cook, batteria, propongono un approccio originale al materiale musicale facendo leva si sull’atto improvvisato, ma non disdegnando affatto il passato, il ritmo swing alla Gene Krupa, il bebop o l’approccio modale alla George Russell. La rielaborazione linguistica, all’interno di una cornice ed un’anima sonora free, si confą, nel nuovo contesto, ad un’atmosfera di puro spirito e divertimento, non irrispettoso, ma in quanto appropriazione libera ed inconscia di componenti stilistiche altrimenti incompatibili. Di particolare interesse, a questo proposito, Little Jimmy K, dove su una ritmica bebop si insinua la voce narrante di Mr.Voigt che enuncia un inusuale testo narrativo.

 

-Riccardo Valsecchi-

 

 

 

French Review in September issue L’Improjazz 2009

ERIC ZINMAN TRIO studio234 CD 007

Eric Zinman p ; Benjamin Duboc cb ; Didier Lasserrre dr

Le trio d'Eric Zinman impose dans l'improvisation une certitude qui n'est pas l'absence de surprise mais la confiance dans le flux sonore généré ą trois. Ils jouent dans un idiome free-jazz mČtiné d'impro (si cette expression a un sens), créant une myriades de touchers différents, une danse lumineuse et pleine d'espacements, d'heureuses rencontres entre trois individualités au meilleur de leur état musical. On est frappé par l'aisance, collective et individuelle, du temps musical qu'ils inaugurent, la capacité des trois musiciens ą dire beaucoup en peu de notes, et la justesse des réactions de chacun. L'introduction de Didier Lasserre au quatriŹme morceau, puis son dialogue avec la contrebasse de Benjamin Duboc, cheville ouvriŹre du trio, sont de véritables merveilles. Je n'ai pas désigné autre chose qu'un grand moment de free jazz. Ils y ajoutent un art trŹs ferme de la suggestion et une écriture ą trois : chacun se place par rapport aux autres dans une géométrie juste, ni d'acquiescement ni d'opposition systématique. Eric Zinman donne sans compter les preuves musicales de son toucher, de son sens du placement rythmique, et d'une immense connaissance active et assimilée du clavier et des maĒtres qui l'ont précédé.

Seule toute petite réserve sur ce disque : une prise de son trŹs définie mais cloisonnée et peu spatialisée au détriment de l'équilibre du trio.

1

NoĎl TACHET

 

 

Spanish review Huesca, Spain

 

Cultura: Cuatro Piedras en el mar

 

La formación euroamericana Rocks In The Sea actuó en el Centro Cultural del Matedero de Huesca

 

Jesús MORENO 06/03/2010

 

HUESCA.- Ya hace un par de décadas, que la distribuidora neoyorkina de sellos discográficos independientes Cadence, viene apostando en sus dos etiquetas, Cadence Jazz Records y C.I.M.P. por lo que ha venido en llamarse la "Creative Improvised Music" (Música Improvisada Creativa). Una denominación, tipo "cajón de sastre", para identificar a una música heterogénea que tiene en común su raíz jazzística, heredera del primer free jazz americano pero que se mira en los derivados que este tuvo en Europa. Una música que apuesta por la interacción del grupo y la improvisación colectiva surgida de una serie de pequeĖos acuerdos entre los músicos. Abierta, sin más límite que el de la creatividad y la imaginación. En esa onda se mueve el cuarteto euroamericano Rocks In The Sea.

Su actuación oscense, el pasado jueves, fue un claro ejemplo de progresión. Una actuación a base de temas medio-largos que comenzó con tintes algo abstractos. Una cierta dureza. Sin contemplaciones. Pero que conforme avanzaba, adquiría unos aires algo más amables, llegándose a poner, al estilo "Luces de Bohemia", "estupendos".

El trío que forman el pianista Eric Zinman con el bajista Benjamín Duboc y el batería Didier Lasserre es un ejemplo de lirismo en tensión. Una acertada combinación de melodía y pianeo percusivo a cargo de Zinman que encuentra un buen colchón en la perfecta conjunción de la rítmica gala. Ese equilibrio y perfección formal se rompe con el aĖadido del saxofonista alemán Mario Rechtern. Un polisoplador (saxos y flautín con los que juega a modificar y expandir su sonoridad mediante trompetillas, una lamina/muro junto al micro o un aĖadido de cuerdas tipo violín en el saxo alto) en la estela del Art Ensemble de Chicago o los pioneros de la World Music, los también centroeuropeos Embryo. Explosivo y colorista. Una combinación de seda y lija. Pero como con el empuje continuado de las olas, las aristas de las rocas se fueron tornado redondeles.

El encanto reside precisamente en esa combinación entre discurso melódico y poético de trío de piano, que bien podría funcionar de forma autónoma, con la crudeza, líneas quebradas y la locura (free-ky) del saxofonista. Redondeando, el gran nivel y control tanto instrumental como expresivo de los cuatro miembros del grupo. Si bien Rechtern, aunque en semisombra, capitalizaba toda la imagen y miradas (imposible no seguir todas sus manipulaciones instrumentales) y Zinman no paraba de crear líneas desde el piano, merecen especial mención tanto Duboc, con momentos muy inspirados en apoyo/dueto del saxofonista y un toque seco y seguro, como el convulso martilleo de Lasserre. Puro nervio.

Eric Zinman Ensemble. From: brilliantcornersbostonjazzblog review by Chris Rich

 

Eric visited my holdfast not long ago and left me with two striking discs that typify the small subset of real jazz here in music school land. Charlie Kohlhase also left me five examples of what he's been up to for the past seven years so there will be a number of descriptions of this body of work as I have time to give it the hearing it deserves.

 

The Eric Zinman Ensemble release is out on Cadence, CJR:1187 and available at http://www.cadencebuilding.com

 

It features two of Boston's great and locally neglected masters, Bassist John Voigt and Drummer Laurence Cook. Both get lost in a milieu shuffle of careerism that rewards shameless self aggrandizement over music merit.

 

But both go way back in the annals of exemplary participation. John has done journeyman work since the days of Boston's old Playboy Club and worked with everyone from Jan Hammer to Thurston Moore.

 

He is a keen musical thinker and put out a self produced lp in 1976 of an overdubbed bass quintet blended with ambient sounds of a bingo tournament at a time when his contemporaries were avidly hopping on the bombastic and forgettable fusion bandwagon. He also did a puckish offshoot of the music minus one practice records for improvisers and a fine solo bass cd with hand painted covers.

 

Laurence was an early graduate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and made a recording in the 60's with the relentless noise band, the Godz on ESP in addition to work with Bobby Naughton, Bill Dixon, Lowell Davidson and Joe Morris.

 

He is joined by John on a Thurston Moore release, "Fuzz against Junk".

 

Eric studied with Bill Dixon at Bennington College, spent some time at NEC and has worked with Raphe Malik, Sabir Mateen, Blaise Siwula,Glenn Spearman,Tatsuya Nakatani, Luther Grey, Glynis Lomon, Mike Lopez, Greg Kelley, Christoph Irmer, Libba Villavechia and Mario Rechtern and continues to keep an eye to fruitful collaborations with musicians, visual artists and dancers.

 

The recording opens with a Zinman composition, "Mystery" that offers groups of melody phrases rising and receding amid an environ of drum and cymbal brush strokes and interwoven bass pluck at a serene tempo that throws the considered piano phrases into vivid relief to contemplate and absorb.

 

The confident rendition of Ornette Coleman's piece, "Eventually" follows with a flight like briskness to the initial exposition followed by solo highlighting from Laurence with his signature array of sonic allegory phasing flawlessly into John's pointed cluster plucks all over the fret ran range to meet a Zinman enthusiasm for the fun of the melody potential fulfilled.

 

A slightly subdued restatement closes as if to thank Mr. Coleman for his years of contribution to musical imagination everywhere.

 

The beautiful Lowell Davidson melody of "Small Begger" is expressed as a ballad vector with Eric's bright cluster punctuations and sinuous bow motion from Mr. Voigt enveloped in Mr. Cook's percussive atmosphere of evocation to recall a lost friend to them all.

 

"Respective Duets" and "Short Story for Bill Dixon" are two more Zinman compositions.

 

The former is one of his more intricate works and demonstrates his ongoing interest in composition/improvisation union. Cook and Voigt begin with Laurence's array of 'little instrument" sound colors matched by vigorous register ranging bow work from John with Eric's ringing block chords, melody clusters and glisses close at hand. It is a sequence of deft textures from duet sub units of the trio with a full ensemble finish.

 

"Short Story..." is a ballad shaped miniature thanking Eric's majestic mentor and teacher, Bill Dixon, still full of vigor in his eighth decade of stunning trumpet science with a huge heart.

 

"Swing, Swang, Swung" from Mr. Voigt has interesting echoes of Gil Evan's "La Nevada" without the mass of horns and filtered through a more austere economy of means and a newer way of framing sound. John begins with the essence of a walking bass line with crisp Zinman voicings close at hand while the indomitable Cook briskly taps the tempo with hi hat and snare.

 

"Straight Up, Straight Out" is a work of the departed and utterly under recognized Glenn Spearman. It is a running ball with Zinman pianistics as the launch pad for a tight group sprint.

 

"Channeling Paris, 1870" is offered by Laurence Cook and is a great facet of his allegorical approach. When Cook is your drummer, you never waste time rehearsing with technical drummerspeak. You come up with some metaphor to fire his imagination like "Laurence, channel Paris" and the reverie of ensuing associations is the resulting shape of the piece.

 

He carries over his background with pigment, other brushes and canvas to make sound paintings in the moment, in real time. I'm not sure if music schools will ever figure out how to impart that method. It is also balladish and deft.

 

"Little Jimmy K.,(the White Hipster)" is an example of John Voigt's literary side and a piece of spoken word micro music theater.

 

He improvises stories as well as sounds and they tend toward wry commentary on human foolishness in a voice redolent of Bob Dorough on the old Miles piece "Blue Christmas" wedded to Hanna-Barbara cartoon characters like 'Baba Louie', the burro sidekick of 'QuickDraw McGraw'.

 

John has a growing number of these and they would easily make a stunning album in their own right, another facet of real jazz that may not work well with music school orthodoxy.

 

"Elephant Paws" is the final contribution of Eric's wide ranging array of composition invention. It opens with a rumbling ringing sing of the keyboard soon joined by John's plucky jog to a Cook march time metaphor followed by expansive alternations between cluster densities and rippled long tones enhanced by a Cook texture marked by wood block and cymbal wash leading to a duet world of bass and drums and a Zinman flourish as a close.

 

"War and Peace" ends the disc as a group improvisation of striking density as Laurence Cook channels these extremes for Eric and John to enhance. It is an up tempo weave of laced piano melody duels with upper atmosphere bow flow from Mr. Voigt.

 

All in all this the epitome of what music can be in the Boston area when not preoccupied with career fears and the dead weight of orthodoxy and I'm thrilled it somehow saw the light of day. Would there were more of it.