Jason Ajemian: Sackett's Harbor


Sackett's Harbor


Jason Ajemian (bass)


The Art Of Dying (Delmark DE 581)

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Jason Ajemian (bass),

Tim Haldeman (tenor saxophone), Noritaka Tanaka (drums), Jaime Branch (trumpet), Matt Schneider (guitar), Jason Adasiewicz (marimba)


Composed by Tim Haldeman


Recorded: Chicago, July 4-6 2007


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Ajemian’s bass has this big rubbery sound that fills up enough space in the house to allow the guys up front to go “outside” and play. On The Art Of Dying, the kids are going in and out as each song dictates. Tenor sax player Haldeman’s “Sackett’s Harbor” is one of those indoor songs.

With the trio doubled in size out to the configuration they call “Smokeless Heat,” there are enough instruments to fully flesh out the harmonies on this chart. In keeping with the “art of dying” metaphor where time and self-awareness are suspended, “Sackett’s Harbor” drifts slowly in its own softly waltzing dream state. Branch’s trumpet sets the mood precisely, striking a mildly melancholy tone. The marimba oddly keeps the song from getting dirge-like and Adasiewicz’ thoughtful expressions are followed by Haldeman’s more sorrowful notes bent downward, before joining with Branch for the concluding chorus.

“Sackett's Harbor” is tonal and structured in the straight-ahead sense, but the emphasis on mood and expression gives this performance a beauty that only those who know how to play “outdoors” can render.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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