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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms - Spacer (Delmark, 2011) ****

Last summer I had the pleasure of seeing Jason Adasiewicz play with Peter Brotzmann at the Vision Festival and it was the first time I had encountered a vibraphone being played by bow. Adasiewicz used the long fibers to extrude vibrant ringing tones from the metal bars, creating something new to my ears. On the solo piece that opens 'Spacer' he employs another technique that produces a percussive and staccato attack on the bars. Hearing these unexpected sounds helps help free the ears and cleanse the sonic palette.

Sunrooms is the trio of Nate McBride on bass, Mike Reed on drums and, of course, Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone. The sound is one full of space and suspense. Adasiewicz lets the vibes pulsate and ring as he plays through the tune heads, often sounding larger than a trio. There are intricate parts, where his intelligent melodies engage the listener, and there are lithe parts where the rhythms section's swing keeps the affair floating by. Several of the heads are Monk-like in their engaging catchy directness and unexpected knottiness.

The accompaniment is perfectly fitted too. The drums swing and give the proceedings great propulsion. McBride's solo breaks, like in 'Hi-Touch', help shift the timbre a bit provide a nice contrast to the ring of the vibes. I particular like the composed syncopations, like in 'Run Fly', that really highlights the effectiveness of McBrides and Reed's expert touch.

Though the the emphasis is on the vibes and it's rich pallets of overtones, there is ample room for all players. The songs of 'Spacer' showcase the players well and present a group that knows how to get the most out of the trio setting. There is not one note or tone too many or too few here.

© stef


Richard said...

I don't think I've ever heard a bass-drums-vibes trio. This sounds like it is worth a listen, although what I'd really love to hear is the duo with Brotzmann.

Jason has a nice website:

although it isn't completely up to date.

joesh said...

You should also look into Starlicker (which you can find on with the search facility on the home page). Although a little disappointing (for me) it's certainly a nice vibes trio. If you're a vibes fan you should also look up Ralph Peterson's early 'Fot'tet' albums.Nice stuff for vibes, bass, drums and clarinet (Don Byron .... before becoming famous)!.

Michael Campbell said...

Walt Dickerson released a number of albums featuring the bass-drums-vibes format. Check out 'Tell Us Only the Beautiful Things' and 'Life Rays'.

Paul said...

Thanks for the great suggestions - it's always great to get new suggestions.

Josh said...

It took me about 8 listens to this to really appreciate it. I gave it 3 plays when it came out and I didn't care for it. Not sure why, but it didn't move me. This was early Nov. 2011. Picked it back up in Jan 2012 and I admittedly feel completely different about it. Just ordered Starlicker

Kukyukuwai said...

I was having some issues with vibes and Adasiewicz changed this. Couldn't get into his live performance but this disc is a beauty. Now I find myself having a gusto again to re-listen this and Andrew Hill's albums, Walt Dickerson-Sun Ra's, etc.. I am also glad he is getting all sorts of attention right now.. He even got a write-up in the NYTimes and I am not so much around for all fests in Europe but even so, I catched him four times last year. I'm willing in him performing again, curious if the music will talk to me differently.