What Is Jazz? 1996

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Well, one answer you should get for this eternal question is whether Michael Sarin's drumming is jazz, since he's on four tracks here. Seriously, What Is Jazz? 1996 is a compilation of more progressive or experimental jazz artists who performed at the Knitting Factory-hosted festival that year. It's sporadic, but kudos to producers Brett Heinz and Mark Perlson for taking the time to sequence the performances so there's some sense of cohesive flow to some very varied music. Charlie Hunter's groove-oriented "Ashby Man" is okay, but probably sounded much fresher in the moment with two saxes taking most of the solo time. Clusone Trio is only valuable for Han Bennink's mad ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Well, one answer you should get for this eternal question is whether Michael Sarin's drumming is jazz, since he's on four tracks here. Seriously, What Is Jazz? 1996 is a compilation of more progressive or experimental jazz artists who performed at the Knitting Factory-hosted festival that year. It's sporadic, but kudos to producers Brett Heinz and Mark Perlson for taking the time to sequence the performances so there's some sense of cohesive flow to some very varied music. Charlie Hunter's groove-oriented "Ashby Man" is okay, but probably sounded much fresher in the moment with two saxes taking most of the solo time. Clusone Trio is only valuable for Han Bennink's mad percussion bursts and Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio is a disjointed slice of surrealistic soundtrack to Un Chien Andalou that needs the movie. It also brings the first rush of momentum generated by Anthony Coleman's stabbing piano permutations and Mario Pavone's stop-start sextet melody with a strong Thomas Chapin solo to a halt. David S. Ware's "In This Love" features the Susie Ibarra edition and, while this gig may have been a key catalyst in his rise to cause celebre status, it also suggests he doesn't anthologize well. Pulling out an eight-minute concert segment can't capture the cumulative effect of his quartet's intensity, and the same deal applies on a lesser level to Chapin's meandering nine-minute blast o' sax blowing. Horace Tapscott sounds horribly old guard in this context -- who on Earth selected something as done-to-death hackneyed as "Caravan?" Matthew Shipp's solo "Instinct" begins the climb back, an immediate attention grabber with fragmented left-hand riffs and bass register rumbles. It transitions pretty seamlessly into the very intricate melody of Myra Melford's "The Same River, Twice," which delivers the best performance on the disc. The music is alive, the quintet includes Dave Douglas and Chris Speed, and the arrangement is so cannily constructed it survives the dreaded round robin solo breakdowns with no problem. Melford comes out the winner in the artist-you-really-should-check-out sweepstakes here, with Pavone, Shipp, and Coleman as names to note, with Ware in that anthology netherzone. What Is Jazz? 1996 is all about individual tracks because there really aren't any innovative new schools or conceptual developments to spot here. Except that Sarin plays drums with three of the artists cited above, so maybe that means he is jazz, 1996. And with that and a couple of bucks, he can probably get an espresso just about anywhere in the U.S.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/1996
  • Label: Knitting Factory
  • UPC: 035828019521
  • Catalog Number: 195
  • Sales rank: 302,770

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ashby Man - Charlie Hunter (8:54)
  2. 2 The Pimps Next Door/Pipistrello (5:20)
  3. 3 Ladino Passacaglia - Anthony Coleman's Sephardic Tinge (5:12)
  4. 4 Double Diamond - Mario Pavone (7:45)
  5. 5 Un Chien Andalou - Matt Darriau (6:57)
  6. 6 Caravan - Horace Tapscott (7:10)
  7. 7 Instinct - Matthew Shipp (5:57)
  8. 8 Changes I - Twice Same River (8:13)
  9. 9 A Drunken Monkey (8:17)
  10. 10 In This Love (8:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Han Bennink Percussion
Ray Drummond Bass
Marty Ehrlich Clarinet, Saxophone
Billy Hart Drums
Myra Melford Piano
Horace Tapscott Piano
David S. Ware Tenor Saxophone
Thomas Chapin Saxophone
Mario Pavone Bass
Matthew Shipp Piano
Anthony Coleman Piano
Clusone Trio Track Performer
Matt Darriau Clarinet, Saxophone, Toy Instruments
Dave Douglas Trumpet
Ken Filiano Bass
Erik Friedlander Cello
Peter Madsen Piano
Peter McEachern Trombone
Michael Sarin Drums
Chris Speed Saxophone
Scott Amendola Drums
Rufus Cappadocia Cello
Seido Salifoski Percussion
David S. Ware Quartet Track Performer
Thomas Chapin Trio Track Performer
Kenny Brooks Tenor Saxophone
Susie Ibarra Drums
Brad Schoeppach Guitar
Technical Credits
Irving Mills Composer
Mario Pavone Composer
Matthew Shipp Composer
Anthony Coleman Composer
Michael Dorf Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Duke Ellington Composer
Charlie Hunter Composer
Juan Tizol Composer
Mark Perlson Producer
Brett Heinz Producer, Engineer
Calder Spanier Composer
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