Jesse Chandler (org, keyb), Bill Campbell (d, perc), Mike Moreno (g), Kris Bauman (as, cl), John Ellis (ts, woodwinds), Albert Sanz (p)
Bar code: 8427328421744
"In his book, Jazz: A Critics Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff cast deserved light on the career of the obscure jazz organist Baby Face Willette, by including his Face to Face on that sanctified list. Mr. Ratliff qualified that pick by saying, It transcends the cliches of organ jazz records, of which there are many.
With that, I say we all better be checking out Jesse Chandler, because his new record transcends not only every cliche of organ jazz, but more momentously, casts aside many of the cliches of contemporary jazz in the process. A product of New Yorks New School, Chandlers part of the new school of modernists taking compositional inspiration from rock, film and electronic music. This compositional onus is taken in earnest, not as some spice to add to the conventional concoction to buffet sales. Hooks run deep, consisting of melodic sections having little to do with conventional jazz harmony and vocabulary and more to do with mood and atmosphere.
The completely unexpected, unconventional sounds he extrudes from the instrument, combined with an uncanny level of interaction between it and the front line, distinguishes his style. Those expecting that organ date sound arent going to get it here. Thing is, theyre going to love what they hear- a sound palette comprised of new hues, varying in color from Rhodes to Wurlitzer, accordion to pump organ, celeste to guitar-like sounds.
Word is, Jesses not shy about covering Radiohead, Coldplay and Bjork tunes on his live gigs. Cue up Walnut Tree to hear that tribal, mini-epic feel that these emo-emitters are noted for, with drummer Bill Campbell rocking out on brushes, Chandlers left hand providing sub/dub bass movement, and Kris Baumans clarinet providing the lead vocal. The organ solo is seamlessly woven to the melody and the songs second, or sub-hook, an improvisation thats clearly part of the song. Insomniatown features live drumn bass coupled to traditional B-3 type sound, but this time played off of Albert Sanzs acoustic piano, Baumans processed alto floating over the top like one of those angelic banshees in the bands mentioned above.
The title of the record, Somewhere:Between, is probable response to those who would peg Chandler under any heading, including alt-rock jazzer. For instance, View From Bridge accentuates the organists sound arsenal in the context of a languid bossa that evolves organically into a song thats a solo, then a form that buoys some fat-body bop from guitarist Mike Moreno. Verão Ventoso, the sets leadoff cut, also indulges the leaders affinity for Latin sounds, breathing new life into the venerable jazz samba by, it seems, breathing some kind of magical air into the bellows and drawbars of the instrument. Along with Jesses breeze, Morenos strummed acoustic and Baumans Getzisms literally thrust the listener into the vibrant, windy summers day of the songs title.
This is the record of the young 2004-so good that I cant see anyone coming along to challenge Jesse Chandler for new artist of the year."
-Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz