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Live Constructions

Artist: David Haney

Date of Release: 20/07/2018

Catalogue no: SLAMCD589

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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‘Live Constructions’ SLAMCD 589 Barcode: 5028386707820
Daniel Carter Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone
Hilliard Greene Bass
David Haney Piano
WKCR Radio based at Columbia University, New York, broadcasts a weekly Sunday evening show called ‘Live Constructions’ featuring live studio performances recorded specially for the show. The show focuses on new music, bringing together guests from the contemporary scene, often playing together for the first time. On ‘Live Constructions’, 12 November 2017 the Carter/Greene/Haney trio met and performed for the first time; a debut performance preserved here on CD.
David Haney writes: “I have found that some of the best music comes from first encounters.
As per my usual style of collective improvisation - we don't discuss what we are going to play. Just as you wouldn't discuss what you are going to talk about, I see no need to talk about improvised music before or after it is performed. To me we are just talking.”

 

Reviews

 

01/12/2018 John Sharpe

Carter and Greene join with pianist David Haney in a first-time encounter on Live Constructions. That’s also the title of the Sunday evening show on Columbia University’s WKCR where these studio improvisations were recorded. The overall mood is one of subdued melancholy. Although group music with lots of listening going on, Carter tends to be dominant with the others often seeming to take their lead from his blend of poetic meditations and aphoristic exclamations. His slow smeary lower-register trumpet establishes a ruminative feel in “Construction Number One”. Greene’s throbbing pizzicato meshes with Haney in a choppy undercurrent, later morphing into a simultaneous downward stepping figure, early evidence of a connection reinforced as the set progresses. Carter switches to tenor saxophone on “Number Two”, but the blue lyric vibe continues, this time butting up against a contrary off-center accompaniment. “Number Three” is sparser: Haney begins alone, his line muscular and thickly voiced before yielding to Greene for a solo of rapid flurries and flexed twangs; once Carter rejoins they scale a peak of soaring arco, piano droplets and singing tenor. Haney makes full use of the piano’s resources. He strikes the strings on “Number Four” in tandem with Greene’s singing bow work and later undercuts the dreamy languid atmosphere with clanking manipulation of the piano’s innards, a tactic he also pursues on the eerie intro to “Number Five”. The album finishes without resolution, suggesting there could be more to come from this convivial threesome. John Sharpe http://nycjazzrecord.com/issues/tnycjr201812.pdf

 

12/11/2018 Ken Waxman

Live Constructions
SLAM 589

Nonpareil improvisation from a trio of veteran players Live Constructions affirms that sparkling sonic adornments can be created modestly and with the mostly dulcet tones as well as briefly at slightly more than half-and-hour length. Recorded in a radio studio, the completely spontaneous session matches two of the bulwarks of New York’s so-called downtown scene, bassist Hillard Greene and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, with demonstrative composer/pianist David Haney, whose free-flowing inspirations are often confined to his home town of Portland, Oregon.

Haney, who during his career has partnered players as disparate as trombonist Julian Priester, bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Han Bennink, is perfectly in sync with Greene, whose associated have ranged from saxophonist Odeon Pope to trumpeter Roy Campbell, and Carter whose regular associates include bassist William Parker plus seemingly just about every other exploratory player who passes through the city.

An unparallel thinker on his many horns, Carter begins the four improvisations playing trumpet in such a muted Miles Davis-like fashion that “My Funny Valentine” seems next on the agenda. Instead by “Construction Number Two” in response to the bassist’s walking pumps and the pianist’s positioned comping, he’s turned to rhapsodic brass arabesques that almost in an eye-blink are succeeded by floating flutter tonguing on tenor saxophone that suggest Warne Marsh’s genre definition. Before the creations open up still further later on with brief solos emphasizing expressive keyboard jumps plus double bass string pulsations, the three not only crisscross each other’s distinctive textures, but also work up to a crescendo of layered reed vibratos, keyboard splashes and double bass propulsion. Suddenly revealing his avant-garde impulses with diaphragm vibrations and high-pitched reed squeals on the penultimate “Construction Number Four”, Crater later reconnects with the other’s melodic instincts to confirm the session’s narrative regularity by the finale.

Live Constructions won’t frighten mainstreamers who shy away from so-called advanced improvisation. Yet hiding beneath its mostly placid surface are actually unconventional constructions which those familiar with the unorthodox can easily diagnose.
—Ken Waxman

 

04/10/2018 Bill Donaldson

While the outrage over the suffering of fellow human beings may lead to distinct images and passions that flow over into musical expression, Haney also was involved in a recording of more relaxed surroundings when he, horn player Daniel Carter and bassist Hilliard Greene walked into the studio of WKCR Radio at Columbia University, picked up their instruments and started playing live whatever came into their minds. That may be an intimidating circumstance for less experienced musicians, especially when they never before performed together, and thus without rehearsals or knowing what concepts the other two may have brought to the session. But the trio, with over a hundred years of combined professional experience, prefer the adrenaline…and the music…that flows from spontaneous performances, which Haney compares to talking. So, WKCR’s Live Constructions program brings together musicians who never performed together for on-the-air musical conversations, thereby providing the thrill of a live broadcast, much as live TV similarly records whatever happens. The live jazz of Live Constructions takes the concept a step further than TV does by eliminating the safety net of rehearsals or props. And that is the thrill of jazz. Carter takes the lead through much of (2) as he alternates between trumpet and tenor sax. That’s not to say that Greene and Haney don’t lead as well, though the volume of sound provided by wind instruments commands attention. Starting their conversations, the members of the newly assembled trio introduce an idea and elaborate upon it in musical discussion. “Construction Number Two” begins with Haney’s tentative three-note mid-register repetition, to which Carter responds on trumpet with another tonal direction. Greene follows along, seeing where the construction is headed, until he develops after the first minute a propulsive thought with variations that animate the rest of the track for improvisation. With Greene’s part of the construction established, Carter is free to enter with floating saxophone lines at ease over the rhythmic pattern. And then the theme changes when Greene switches to arco ascents and descents, to which Carter responds with trills and Haney with spare upper-register embellishments. Haney commences “Construction Number Three” with a rumbling and rippling flight across the entire expanse of the keyboard, and then Greene develops his own solo, a contrast in register and tempo to Haney’s. Yet, Carter’s eventual collaboration on tenor sax provides a calmness after the storm, Desmond-like in his coolness throughout agitation. As if in yet more deliberate contrast, Haney moves into percussive chord clusters as if prodding. Instead, all three agree to end with a quieter secti on of bowed bass, upper-register piano coruscation and almost-melodic sax lines. Carter’s way with long tones and linear development in some of the earlier tracks is relegated on the final track, “Construction Number Five,” only three minutes in length. Instead, he opens with altissimo tweeting and mid-range warbling without structure, an invitation to for Greene to bow descending lines and repetitions. While no doubt, all three musicians were familiar with each other’s previous recordings, WKCR does deserve a great deal of credit for taking chances of this type with its air time. Nonetheless, the results break through comfort zones and provide the energy of free improvisation that creates memorable jazz moments.
Bill Donaldson Cadence Jazz Magazine. October 2018

 

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