JOSEPH SHABASON

Aytche 8/10 Sax­o­phon­ist’s con­tem­pla­tive, am­bi­ent-jazz de­light

UNCUT - - New Albums - SHARON O’CONNELL

In­de­pen­dent de­buts by ensemble play­ers are sel­dom as rav­ish­ing as this. Joseph Shabason has form, as sax­o­phon­ist with DIaNa and De­stroyer and go-to guy for acts in­clud­ing the War On Drugs, but Aytche smudges the bound­aries be­tween am­bi­ent, “nu jazz” and min­i­mal­ism. With re­cur­rent mo­tifs to en­sure the tracks play as a set piece, it shifts from warm, gaseous ex­ha­la­tions (ec­static opener, “Look­ing For­ward to Some­thing, Dude”) to liq­uid sym­phon­ics (“Long Swim”) and noisy, saw-toothed erup­tions (“Smokestack”). Coltrane, Eno and Metheny are touch­stones, but Shabason’s ab­strac­tion is sen­sual, his lan­guage emo­tional: “West­meath”, which con­cerns the sui­cide of a holo­caust sur­vivor, is par­tic­u­larly lethal in its soft­ness.

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