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Trigonometry Reviews


ALL ABOUT JAZZ BY DAN BILAWSKY 2010

“…Superb saxophone work, intellectually stimulating writing and ingeniously dovetailed rhythmic lines are the three sides that form the musical shape on Trigonometry….” “…Saxophonist/composer Jacám Manricks enjoys creating some rhythmic friction—using different combinations of instruments and musicians within his group—while also treating each piece like a fresh canvas, ready to be turned into high art…” His pleasing and pure-toned sound is used to create a hybrid style that owes as much to classical saxophone writing and left-of-center jazz work as it does to straight ahead music…” “…elegantly gliding over the groove in seven…” “…a luxuriant blend between the different instrumental voices in the group. Fresh harmonies and a unique writing style…” “…Manricks’ soloing is absorbing “…extremely hip…” “…Hushed, mournful tones escape from Manricks’ saxophone, working over a gentle piano and bass presence…”
 

ALL ABOUT JAZZ BY BRUCE LINDSAY JULY 1ST 2010

“…Jacám Manricks is a rich-toned saxophonist and composer with a growing body of original tunes…” “…terrifically enthusiastic playing…” “…surprise and delight…” “…Uniformly excellent throughout…” “…tight ensemble playing…” “…inventive variations in rhythm and tempo…” “…a flowing, reflective, piece that showcases Manricks and the rhythm section at their most innovative…” “…Manricks’ sax playing is exceptional here, as is the interplay between Manricks and Calvaire which is held together by Martin’s rock solid bass…” “…Manricks’ fine arrangement is beautifully played and blends well with his own original compositions. Trigonometry establishes Manricks as a writer and player of note.
 

EJAZZNEWS BY GLENN ASTARITA JULY 19 2010

“Saxophonist/composer Jacam Manricks’ 2009 release “Labyrinth,” looms as a captivating artistic statement. Composed for jazz quintet and chamber orchestra, Manricks conveyed great depth and enveloped quite a few jazz-tinged frameworks into the grand schema. Similar attributes emerge on this 2010 follow-up, featuring some modern-day jazz titans amid an aggregation of cunning developments that reveal additional insights on repeated listens. With this effort, he lays out an intricate mosaic of song-forms, spanning odd-metered funk, breezy choruses, buoyant time signatures and much more. But it’s how he interconnects the various parts that yield the bountiful fruit, to complement the band-members’ luminous and at times, gritty soloing spots. On the wittily titled “Cluster Funk,” the leader incorporates R&B and mainstream jazz with a progressive edge, emphasized by the hornists’ punctuating notes. However, Manricks ability to fuse quirky deviations into the roads frequently traversed provides an exciting element, where organized decomposition attains equal ground with structure. His dense compositional methodologies remain true to form on ballads, evidenced by lush voicings, thrusting crescendos and a little big band impetus during the piece titled “Nucleus.” In other regions of the program, Manricks injects staggered flows and off-kilter metrics to coincide with the ensemble’s blitzing unison lines and memorable hooks. No doubt, Trigonometry is a compelling musical study in divergent angles, rolling waves and supple underpinnings. Manricks is supremely educated — he has a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music as well as a Masters Degree in jazz composition and arranging — and his writing embraces straight-eighth rhythmic feels, often in odd or mixed meters, complex harmonies and angular or serpentine melodies. If you need further proof of Manrick’s jazz-nerd credentials, check out some of his song titles: Trigonometry, Micro- Gravity, Aeronautics, Nucleus, and Labyrinth. The more satisfying disc for me is Labyrinth, which seems a little less like a standard studio session and more like a group of elite musicians (guitarist Ben Monder! drummer Tyshawn Sorey! Pianist Jacob Sacks and bassist Thomas Morgan — both associates of alto saxophone firebrand David Binney) united to realize Manricks’ very detailed but forthright music. The debut CD also has a larger sonic palette, with a larger variety of instruments (Manricks on many woodwinds, Monder manipulating his sound and playing acoustic guitar) and even an orchestra well deployed. Squenced for a gradual release of intensity, Labyrinth eases in listeners with a short overture, Portal, which posits a long quirky unison for Manricks’ alto and Monder’s guitar, against the rumbling, percolating accompaniment. It’s like a statement of purpose, making clear that the disc will sit just to the left of jazz’s modern mainstream. Micro-Gravity begins with a duet for Manricks’s pleasingly tart horn and Monder’s smart, shimmering guitar work. A quasi-martial interlude follows, driven by Sorey’s snare-drum work and swathed in a rich, orchestral backing. Monder and then Manricks take incisive, sophisticated solos over a swirl of swings and horns.”

OTTOWA CITIZEN ALTOS OF OUR TIME BY PHUM JULY 20 2010

“…It’s a looser, more conventional disc that has many fine moments…” “…Manricks solos engagingly…” “…music that is pretty first and cerebral second. Mood Swing is a lovely floating ballad. Nucleus is my “…lushly voiced for extra horns…”
 

NY TIMES LISTING BY NATE CHINEN JULY 30 2010

“…builds on his fascination with convoluted form….” “…well up to the task…”
 

ALL ABOUT JAZZ BY MARK CORROTTO JUNE 23RD 2010

“…There is a snap to the music of saxophonist Jacám Manricks’ music that calls to mind the invention of bebop…” “…Without looking backwards, this recording re-invents that atmosphere of bop animation…” “… a stellar cast of players…” “…This is snappy and succinct music with particular direction…” “… a certain swing that pleases…” “…Thelonious Monklike…” “…Manricks’ compositions expand into broad harmonies…” “…The overtly smelly “Cluster Funk” recalls some 1960′s chittlin’ circuit sound updated to a Brooklyn hipsters chant…” “…he displays his flawless technique addressing the track with a fluid manner…”

 

LUCID CULTURE JULY 8, 2010

“…Manricks vaulted into the uppermost echelon of jazz composers with his lushly orchestrated big band masterpiece, Labyrinth, last year. This one reduces the forty-piece orchestra to just a sextet, with hardly any loss of volume, trading sweep and majesty for melody, terseness and a jazz vibe that’s considerably more classic than classical…” “…great success…” “…Manricks buoyant against Calvaire’s aggression…” “…tongue-in-cheek…” “…modallycharged simmer, Manricks bracingly warping in and out…” “…Nucleus makes a big beautiful goldenage style ensemble piece out of a vivid latin-tinged melody a la late 50s Miles…” “…pulsing, shapeshifting…” “…ominous, modal nocturne with masterful touches …expressionistic” “…eerie prismatic glow…” “…ultraviolet ambience …” “…Yet another great new album…”
 

TIME OUT NEW YORK LISTING JULY 2010

“…Australian saxist-composer Jacam Manricks presents his brainy yet supple postbop…” “…a very strong band…”
 

RIFFITDES BY DOUG RAMSEY JULY 18 2010

“…The writing skills he displayed on the previous album are in evidence..”. Using trompe l’oreille harmonies, Manricks voices his alto saxophone, Scott Wendholt’s trumpet and Alan Ferber’s trombone to sound like a larger ensemble. “Cluster Funk,” as audacious as its title, is a prime case in point. “…As for Manricks’ own playing, it ranges from heart-on-the-sleeve lyricism in “Mood Swing” to a sort of post-Konitz earnestness in “Slippery” to bounds and leaps reminiscent of Eric Dolphy in, among other pieces, Dolphy’s “Miss Ann.” …”
 

ALL MUSIC GUIDE BY KEN DRYDEN JULY 2010

“…Manricks has a gift for writing compositions that leave lasting impressions…” His somewhat dark “…Manricks’ alto engaging in a bit of Eric Dolphylike dissonance…” “…Throughout the session Manricks demonstrates that he is well on his way to developing a personal sound on alto…” “…Jacam Manricks is proof that the old saying “Those who can’t, teach” does not apply to jazz educators…”
 

SOMETHING ELSE BY PICO JULY 2010

“…What’s clear from the first listen of this record is not so much his chops, which are solid as he amply demonstrates on the Eric Dolphy original “Miss Ann,” but the arrangements of his own compositions which make up the remaining nine tracks…” He’s culled together a collection of crack musicians to back him up on this endeavor: Gary Versace (piano), Alan Ferber (trombone), Joe Martin (bass), Scott Wendholt (trumpet) and Obed Calvaire (drums) and selectively employs the services of his non-rhythm section players to fit each song’s requirements…” “…This three-toseven piece band bring out Manricks’ advanced vision for each tune, showing much poise to not overplay as to not disturb the essence of each tune…” “… Manricks loves to integrate knotty rhythms with naturally flowing melodic lines in such a way that attest his aptitude for scoring pieces for full orchestras, as he’s done in the past…” “…shows off Manricks ability to play off of an elliptical beat, finding the right gaps to place his notes…” “…Manricks slyly inserts rhythmic and Monk-like melodic meanderings that makes the song more interesting below the surface…” “…a bevy of both talent and experience…”
 

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