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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Colin Stetson - All This I Do For Glory (52HZ, 2017) ***

By Daniel Börker

First there is a beat. A beat built by Colin Stetson's Sax. Colin Stetson on the way to the club? Yes and no. Of course, maybe like Oren Ambarchi said Hubris was his way to the club (at least that's what I read).

To prepare myself for this review I read the last one that was published on a Stetson album, which was written by Paolo Casertano on part three of his New History Warfare. Paolo's last sentence stuck with me,  he wrote that he had hoped for something new on the next record. So here we are with All This I Do For Glory and the question is, is there something new to discover?

First of all, you would recognize Colin Stetson on this album without knowing the name on the cover,  his way of playing his patterns throughout the album is recognizable, and so I think the 'new thing' is the beat you hear in the beginning.

The first track 'All This I Do For Glory" starts with a strange beat, to slow to dance to. Colin Stetson's music is kind of hypnotizing. And the 'beat' on the first track does quite a good job in that respect. Over the beat he plays his sax-patterns, reminding you of minimalist music. There is already a lot to read about the way he treats his instrument to produce the sounds you hear, so I won't repeat it here. I get lost in it every time I hear it, and the first track is a very good example of it, especially if you haven't heard his music before.

The second track "Like Wolves on the Fold" also starts with sounds that build a strong beat, but in this one the singing sounds seem to be stronger (I think I can hear him breath.) The track has an urgency to it, and the beat doesn't find its way to the dance floor again.

The third track "Between Water and Wind" intensifies the urgency. The sound gets a bit darker but in the end I stick to my original musical observation: This time it's all about the beat.

I could take you through all six tracks, but I still come to the same conclusion that this is the difference, the new thing.

So what does it mean to me, the listener?

I am glad that things change. I like it to recognize an artist by his sound, his way of composing and still realize that he tries to develop new approaches, so I appreciate this step that Stetson takes on this album. While I write this paragraph I am listening to New History Warfare part 3 to compare the two once more. I am immediately captured by the energy and the urgency of the music.

All This I Do For Glory is a catchy album and I like it, but I miss the ruthless sound of the older albums including his collaboration with Sarah Neufeld. It seems as if this new album was an effort to sound a little bit more catchy than before and still be recognizable. So Paolo, he's changed.