Samuel Blaser: Red Hook


Red Hook


Samuel Blaser (trombone)


Pieces of Old Sky (Clean Feed CF151CD)

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Samuel Blaser (trombone),

Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (double bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums)


Composed by Samuel Blaser


Recorded: June 5 2008, Brooklyn, NY


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

It’s free and a little out there, but “Red Hook” does have a definable head that quickly afterwards probes deeply into the harmonic possibilities introduced by the dissonant theme. Morgan suggests the main lines before stating them outright in his solo, and then Blaser slows down the proceedings to ruminate for a while. The oddity---and indeed, the special allure of this song---is derived from Neufeld; juxtaposing his modern rock-ish guitar against sixties “new thing” jazz creates a tonal footprint like no other. He spars with Blaser and prod Sorey, using the forceful, amped sound of his guitar as an instigator as much as he does with his phrasing.

After a sudden signal by the leader, the wickedly tricky theme is played faster to take the song out. “Red Hook” is undeniably avant garde, but there’s as much purpose to it if not more than there is to be found in traditional hard bop.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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