Drew Gress: Chevelle
Drew Gress (bass, electronic instruments)
The Irrational Numbers (Premonition 90775)
Craig Taborn (piano), Tom Rainey (drums).
Composed by Drew Gress.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, August 22-23, 2006
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Drew Gress is a highly intelligent composer, and it shows on "Chevelle." The harmonic line and rhythm, pinned down solidly by Gress, Taborn and Rainey, takes a jagged path but always reaches its destination. Even Alessi's and Berne's short horn chart zigs and zags around that elusive melody. In the midst of Gress's controlled storm of sounds are Taborn's calm, minimal chords that balance out of the rest of the instruments. As Gress and Alessi solo, the pianist chooses his spots carefully, giving the horn men space to express themselves effectively. About five minutes in, the choppy groove gives way to an extended free-flowing coda. It's in essence the same motif, but slowed down and given a slightly exotic flavor with discreet electronic washes. "Chevelle" revels in changing and conflicting moods that Drew Gress has deftly orchestrated.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron