The Vastness of Space (2-LP Set · Audiophile 180 gr. Vinyl) Gatefold
  • Reid Anderson
    Reid Anderson
  • Andrew D'Angelo
    Andrew D'Angelo
  • Bill McHenry
    Bill McHenry
  • Ben Monder
    Ben Monder
  • Marlon Browden
    Marlon Browden

Reid Anderson

The Vastness of Space (2-LP Set · Audiophile 180 gr. Vinyl) Gatefold

Fresh Sound New Talent Vinyl

Reid Anderson (b), Andrew D'Angelo (as), Bill McHenry (ts), Ben Monder (g), Marlon Browden (d)

Reference: FSNT33-107 LP

Bar code: 8427328481076

"Before he rose to jazz renown as one-third of The Bad Plus, bassist Reid Anderson put out two albums on Fresh Sound New Talent, 'Dirty Showtunes' and 'Abolish Bad Architecture,' that stand up as classics of turn-of-the-millennium New York jazz. Anderson remembers these quartet dates as his first forays into original composition, full of dark and intriguing harmony and quirks of form that were forward-thinking in an acoustic jazz mold.

After the two initial albums, Anderson underwent what he describes as “a very conscious and discernible shift” in 2000 with his third FSNT release, 'The Vastness of Space.' The writing was starker and simpler in a sense, more triadic and rock-edged in its language, moving decisively toward the sound he would pursue full-time with The Bad Plus. Two tracks from Vastness, “Prehensile Dream” and “Silence Is the Question,” became Bad Plus numbers. “Whatever you can say my style is,” Anderson remarks, “I think it really began with The Vastness of Space.”

Vastness features a quintet with the beating heart of a rock band. Andrew D’Angelo and Bill McHenry, saxophonists with impressive track records as leaders ever since, brought two distinct energies and horn approaches to Anderson’s early tunes yet functioned with seamless compatibility as a frontline. (“The Owl” is McHenry’s nickname.) Ben Monder, soft-spoken guitar giant of our time, provided just the right touch whether doubling melodies, laying down chords or venturing poignant solo flights, giving every song his own stamp (not to mention a harmonic underpinning quite unlike Ethan Iverson’s piano on the two previous Anderson discs). Drummer Marlon Browden, now in Berlin and focusing on songwriting and electronics as a multi-instrumentalist, has a loose and funky flow that suits Anderson as a bassist and gives the session lots of its grit.

“The Enthusiast,” “The Owl” and “The Captain” are rock-inflected anthems with a direct and inescapable lyricism, but also an element of raw free jazz. There are slow tempos and yearning romantic moods (“Foxy,” “Talons,” “Melismatic Clouds of Joy”) as well, or atmospheric and asymetrically grooving episodes such as “Reclusive.” There is complexity, counterpoint, polyrhythm, orchestration, dynamic contrast and a certain wildness to the album, a stylistically searching aesthetic that paved the way not only for The Bad Plus, but also Anderson’s Golden Valley Is Now collaboration with Craig Taborn and Dave King, or his electronics work with the adventurous Jeff Ballard led group Fairgrounds.

Years ago Anderson told me that once he has a concept for a song in his brain, to commit it to paper is already somehow to dilute or corrupt it. A necessary stage in the process, perhaps, akin to getting a bicycle tire fully inflated but then having to let just a bit of air escape when disengaging the pump. The point being: if 'The Vastness of Space' is but an approximation of the fully realized music Anderson was hearing in his head, then just imagine..."

—David R. Adler


Side A
1. The Enthusiast 7:28
2. Talons 8:33
3. Foxy 5:18

Side B
1. Prehensile Dream 6:19
2. The Owl 7:46
3. Reclusive 6:21

Side C
1. Melismatic Clouds of Joy 6:51
2. The Captain 8:16
3. Silence is the Question 7:16

Side D
Fresh Sound New Talent brand logo engraving
(No recorded music)

Album details

All tracks written by Reid Anderson
(Dirty Showtunes Music BMI)

Original CD issue in 2000 as FSNT-096

Reid Anderson (bass), Andrew D'Angelo (alto sax), Bill McHenry (tenor sax), Ben Monder (guitar), Marlon Browden (drums).
Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York City, March 30 & 31, 2000

Sound engineer: James Farber
Mixed by James Farber & Reid Anderson at Riversound Studios, New York City, on April 10 & 11, 2000
Mastered by Paul Zinman at Soundbyte Productions

Artwork by Reid Anderson
New liner notes: David R. Adler
Photos: Reid Anderson & Andrew D'Angelo
Art production assistance: Tom Beckham

Produced by Reid Anderson
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

29,95 €  (tax incl.)

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