Pasatiempo - - PASA TEMPOS - — Paul Wei­de­man

Win­ter Light (ACT)

Gui­tarist Scott DuBois has a love for vis­ual por­tray­als of the evolv­ing day; in the liner notes for Win­ter Light he men­tions some of the paint­ings of Claude Monet. That in­flu­ence is re­flected here in his per­for­mance with his quar­tet: Ger­man reed­man Geb­hard Ull­mann, Amer­i­can bassist Thomas Mor­gan, and Dan­ish drum­mer Kresten Os­good. “First Light Tun­dra” opens with min­i­mal­ist strokes be­fore a gen­tle sonic tex­ture un­folds. Against the leader’s spare gui­tar, Ull­mann’s bass clar­inet draws a more dy­namic fig­ure, per­haps de­not­ing Ae­o­lian blus­ters and danc­ing spears of light. At the oc­cur­rence of brief, fu­ri­ous flur­ries from the band, we may pic­ture a coy­ote- dis­cov­ered quail covey erupt­ing sky­ward — or, as DuBois writes, “fierce crash­ing winds [ob­scur­ing] the ap­proach­ing sun­rise with f ly­ing snow.” The scene in “Early Morn­ing For­est” is busier with an­i­mal ac­tiv­ity, ges­tured by the bass and toms, while DuBois paints the un­fold­ing of the light. A dusky-toned in­ter­lude tells of “an omi­nous cold mist,” but by tune’s end Ull­man’s pen­e­trat­ing reeds are fre­netic. “Late Morn­ing Snow” be­gins deep and stately, soon open­ing into more com­plex ter­ri­tory, but over­all this piece is lean and at­mo­spheric. Dark clouds threaten dur­ing “Noon White Moun­tain,” but they only yield a gen­tle, freez­ing rain. It is fas­ci­nat­ing lis­ten­ing to the mu­si­cians ap­prox­i­mat­ing changes in weather and light and the char­ac­ter of dif­fer­ent land­scapes. DuBois’ dra­matic com­po­si­tions are spell­bind­ing and the play­ing — es­pe­cially Ull­mann’s — is vir­tu­osic and ex­cit­ing.

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