Empirical - Tabula Rasa 2 x CDs

SKU 28-NAIM193.2
Tom Farmer - double bass
Nathaniel Facey - alto saxophone
Shaney Forbes - drums
Lewis Wright - vibrophone

featuring the Benyounes String Quartet:
Zara Benyounes - violin
Emily Holland - violin
Sara Roberts - viola
Kim Vaughan - cello

This is a very adventurous 2013 release as the free and swinging, inside / outside UK jazz quartet Empirical combine forces with the Benyounes String Quartet. This is a very carefully constructed and composed album!

“In the CD liner notes and a recent Jazzwise interview, the band explained why they called themselves "Empirical" and what they mean by it : "To gather information through experimentation and observation". So here we have their latest experiment - a collaboration with the Benyounes Quartet, a new string quartet the band met during a tenure as Golubovich Jazz Scholars at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
The album is made up of original compositions from the band and the strings are mostly involved with the composed parts and don't get so involved in the improvising - which is left to the core quartet of alto sax, vibes, bass and drums. The string quartet tend to play together, acting as one new facet to the sound - rather than playing individually - but there are times when more than one line is heard - to create harmonies or like classical counterpoint or fugue.
At some points, when vibes or sax join the harmony created by the strings - the whole effect then is of a much larger ensemble. But there are some tracks when you just hear the core band and it's almost disappointing - you wait to hear the colour the strings impart to proceedings.
There are many interesting compositions here and the collaboration seems to have sparked different styles of music from the band. I particularly liked the way vibes worked with the strings in repeating arpeggios, echoing minimalist music - while at other times the strings alone, sound closer to the sound world of Olivier Messiaen. When the bass and drums are to the fore - it reminds me more of Dave Holland's quintets, which include vibes. It's difficult to describe this music and in many ways this is "difficult" music, with quirky rhythms and compositions - it's a long way from Jazz roots and has a lot of European art music as influences. There is a lot to like here...”
  • LabelNaim
  • UPC797537119328
Your Price $14.00

Customer Reviews