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Friday, July 18, 2014

Jason Ajemian - A Way A Land Of Life (No Business, 2014) ****

By Stef

The album is actually an LP, released in 400 copies, offering us nine compositions by bassist Jason Ajemian, in the great company of Tony Malaby on tenor, Rob Mazurek on cornet and Chad Taylor on drums, actually the same line-up as the five-star "Protest Heaven", except that Jeff Parker's guitar is no longer part of the band.

The music is again a wonderful mix of composed pieces and free improvisation, of pieces that swing and bop like hell, as "All Nights", or even bluesy pieces like ""Yes, We Know", or compositions such as "That When You Come, We Die", which starts as free improvisation, creating an eery atmosphere and evolving into a beautiful theme, or the crazy opening duet between Mazurek and Malaby, cut short by Ajemian (?), to bring them back to order, and introducing with his bass the almost 'stendhal syndrome' enducing theme of "Living The Sky", a slow and sweeping sound that is as sad as it is compelling.

But then next to that there is the sheer musicianship, the quality of four masters dialoguing intensely, creatively, each with their own signature sound, recognisable from afar, yet matching the overall sonic setting perfectly.

It is fun, it is moving, it is desorienting, it is authentic and deep, and such a joy to listen to. What more can I say?

Available from Instantjazz.