Andrew Rathbun & George Colligan

Renderings: The Art of the Duo

Fresh Sound New Talent

Personnel:
Andrew Rathbun (ts, ss), George Colligan (p)

Reference: FSNT-237

Bar code: 8427328422376

"These two gentlemen, saxophonist Andrew Rathbun and pianist George Colligan are definitely up to the challenge that the art of the duo presents. Their instrumental abilities are super in the classic sense, meaning passionate but controlled and disciplined, never going over the top. The material they have chosen ranges from an original suite written for Wayne Shorter that evokes the many moods reminiscent oh his compositions, to a piece by Ravel dedicated to Haydn. But the center-piece of the CD are the several selections from Musica Callada, a book of compositions by the Spanish composer Federico Mompou. Rahtbun and Colligan play Mompou's music in such a way that I cannot discern the line between what is improvised and what is written, which is one of the highest ideals an improviser strives for."
- David Liebman

Tracklisting:

1. Menuet sur le nom du Haydn (Maurice Ravel) 5:51
2. Suite for soprano saxophone and piano (A.Rathbun) 25:46
- Part I
- Part II
- Part III
- Part IV
- Part V
- Part VI
- Part VII
3. The last waltz (G.Colligan) 5:31
4. Musica callada (Federico Mompou) 22:08
- I Angelico
- II Lento
- III Placide
- IV Affitto e penoso
- V ([M.M.]= 54)
- VI Lento
5. Silkscreen (G.Colligan) 5:30

Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, January 17, 2004.

Reviews:
"Renderings is a no-net duo set featuring Andrew Rathbun on soprano saxophone (tenor on one number) and George Colligan on piano. The title of the opening tuneMaurice Ravel's Menuet Sur Le Nom Du Hayden, the French impressionist's homage to the great classical composerclues you in as to what to expect. The sound is one of understated grandeur beneath an unabashedly pretty melody. Rathbun plays soprano saxophone with a pure, rich tone, conversing with pianist George Colligan in a seamless flow; the pianist handles a complex middle section with a deft mix of delicacy and force.


With names like Hayden and Ravel, you know this is going to be a bit more cerebral than your average jazz recording, with a classical lean that explores tranquility, beauty and controlled passion.


Andrew Rathbun is an artist who takes chances with his recordings. You don't hear any paint-by-the-numbers jazz discs from him. His excellent True Stories (Blue Moon, '01) celebrated the poetry of Canadian writer Margaret Atwood; and Days Before and After (Fresh Sound New Talent, '04) used the two-guitar backing of Ben Monder and Geoff Young.


The ambition factor is upped considerably on Renderings. The saxophonist's 25-minute, seven-part Suite for Soprano Saxophone and Piano, a nod to Wayne Shorter, explores a weave of improvisation and through-written material.


Musica Callada, a six-part, 22-minute piece consisting of selections from Spanish Composer Federico Mompou, whose music, quoting from David Liebman's liner notes, ...stands quite apart in the 20th Century canon as it withstood the assault of atonal and chromatic trends. Colligan and Rathbun display their considerable technical skills and their ability to get to the soul of the subtly gorgeous pieces.

Pianist Colligan contributes two tunes, The Last Waltz and Silkscreen, the former a bit dark and introspective, jazzier in tone than the rest; and the latter closes the show on a brighter note. "
- Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Comentario:
Renderings es la mirada intimista de una formación a dúo unida a la interpretación de piezas de Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) y del español Federico Mompou (1893-1987); un trabajo de hilado fino en el que tanto saxofonista canadiense Andrew Rathbun como el pianista George Colligan (ambas figuras bien arropadas en sus trayectorias por el ello FSNT) juegan a moverse en la delgada línea que separa los contextos musicales del jazz y de la interpretación clásica, no sólo en la ejecución de piezas de autores clásicos, sino en la composición de una suite homenaje a Wayne Shorter en la que las atmósferas evocan a Haydn con mucha fuerza. En definitiva, el reto a la eternidad de la interpretación clásica conjugada con el reto al instante de la improvisación jazzística.

El resultado puede definirse como una interesante mezcla en la que el oído salta continuamente en el tiempo entre el fraseo y las líneas melódicas de perfil añejo (sirva como brújula del experimento el tercer movimiento de la suite de Mompou), moviéndose entre la rigidez rítmica de los fragmento más clásicos y la síncopa de los segmentos jazzísticos. El soprano de Ruthbun parece jugar el papel del clarinete en cuanto al timbre, y la interpretación del dúo alcanza un excelente interpretativo: el oído se vuelve exigente cuando sólo dos instrumentos ocupan el espacio auditivo, y un exquisito control del tono y del volumen de los instrumentos es necesario. Colligan y Rathbun alcanzan dicho nivel técnico (al menos para mi sincopado sentido auditivo), y consiguen hacer de Renderings una grabación similar a las de otros autores, tales como Joachim Kühn y su reciente grabación para ACT Piano Works I: Allegro Vivace, en las que el telón de fondo del blues tan característico en el jazz (esas notas que suenan cuando los dedos las buscan en el bulbo raquídeo en lugar de hacerlo en la masa encefálica) es sustituido por los tapices de los compositores europeos. Una extraña muestra en lo que a la escena neoyorquina se refiere.
- Sergio Masferre.

Price:

$11.68  (tax incl.)

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