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Mindscapes

Artist: Jonathan Bratoeff

Date of Release: 10/05/2010

Catalogue no: 1822

Label: F-IRE

Price: £9.99

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Bird Dance

4.46

2

listen

Transition

8.27

3

 

Mindscape Part 1

2.27

4

 

Fallen Colossus

6.00

5

 

Ephemeral Light

5.23

6

 

Moving Lines

4.00

7

 

Mindscape Part 2

2.34

8

 

Nothing Certain

6.21

9

 

Pluton N'est Plus

7.21

10

 

Mindscape Part 3

0.55

11

 

Echeance

6.00

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Bratoëff: Guitar/Compositions
Mark Hanslip: Tenor Sax
Tom Mason: Bass
James Maddren: Drums

After a hiatus of 5 years and a substantial change of personnel the Jonathan Bratoëff Quartet returns with a new album entitled Mindscapes. It will be the 2nd release by the band ( and the 5th for Jonathan himself ), following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed album Between lines.

Since 2007 the line up has consisted of Jonathan Bratoëff on guitar and compositions, Tom Mason on bass, Mark Hanslip on sax and James Maddren on drums. Each musician brings with him great musical variety and adaptability to a band that looks for a truly contemporary sound. The band places a with a strong emphasis on melody and energy while paying great attention to textures and sounds as well as forms and structures, swaying between architecturally quite complex compositions to more free and open improvisations The Jonathan Bratoëff Quartet draws influences from many sides of the jazz world, from Coltrane to Ornette Coleman to Jason Moran via the New York downtown scene. The key ingredients are simple, with powerful melodies, energetic and vibrant rhythms and rich colourful textures. The music is a mixture of the jazz tradition blended with other musical idioms such as African, Rock and Latin music and the listener experiences an honest sound that pushes boundaries and evokes raw emotions.

 

Reviews

 

30/04/2010 Steve Grantham

Date 30/04/2010

Aol Music.

Jonathan Bratoeff Quartet - Mindscapes
This is the first album from Bratoeff performing under the quartet banner since 2004's Between Lines and shows off new additions to the band's line-up. On occasion, there are echoes in the guitar of Pat Metheney but also traces of John Schofield's more angular stylings. This is balanced well by the powerful saxophone of Mark Hanslip. The whole album is anchored by the rhythm section of Hanslip, bass and James Maddren on drums. With equal helpings of free improvisation and melodic exploration, this is a fine example of contemporary guitar-led jazz played with real feeling.
Rating: 7/10
(Review by Steve Grantham)

 

26/01/2010 Chris Parker

Guitarist Jonathan Bratoëff, in the 'Thoughts' section of his website, describes the basic position of a jazz musician as 'sitting between two chairs, on one hand keeping the "tradition" alive and on the other, the fact that we are living in the 21st century. The music must evolve with its time …'
Accordingly, he is constantly embarking on new projects (his three albums to date involve a quartet, electronics and larger forces, and a duo with drummer Chris Vatalaro respectively); 2010 sees him at the helm of a fresh quartet with long-time associate, bassist Tom Mason, tenor player Mark Hanslip and drummer James Maddren.
Airing new material, shortly to be released on a fourth album, Mindscape, this quartet proved an eminently suitable vehicle for Bratoëff's thoughtful, tastefully restrained but subtly powerful music: in Hanslip, he has found a kindred soul, like him capable of producing what Kevin LeGendre has memorably identified as the key elements of his art: 'an enigmatic, introspective quality … serpentine, sombre elegance'; in Maddren, a drummer adept at emphasising every nuance of rhythmic and dynamic variation; in Mason, an utterly dependable but lithe grounding force.
Bratoëff's melodies are often centred on softly descending sequences that provide useful markers in the solos to which they give rise, and both the guitarist himself and Hanslip exploited this characteristic skilfully in a delicate opener, 'Bird Dance', which slowly built in intensity courtesy of Maddren's restless probing and rustling, and later in an affecting ballad, 'Nothing Certain', in which Bratoëff's spangly guitar and Hanslip's bruised, plaintive tenor were propelled by whispering brushwork.
Interspersing meditative themes with more vigorous up-tempo (even occasionally bop-like) material, Bratoëff set out his new quartet's stall to great effect in this performance; Mindscape should prove well worth the wait.

 

21/11/2008 Joseph Kassman- Todd

I am aiming to make honest and powerful music,” not an ignoble ambition, but one that very few manage to achieve. Guitarist-composer Jonathan Bratoeff did however meet this self-proclaimed aspiration and on this form London has a bright emerging star in its midst. As a fully accredited member of the award winning F-IRE Collective, Bratoeff carries the flame of progressive jazz. He is however not a musician to ignore tradition but he brings to it multiple references from outside of the genre. His compositions demonstrate great musical variety and adaptability but there seem to be some key ingredients consistent to all. The melodies he writes are powerful but not unnecessary complicated. The rhythms are vibrant and provide a diversity of textures and styles, although this is inevitably also a function of James Maddren’s (drums) evident musical intelligence. Ephemeral featured an introduction that referenced a contemporary classical inspiration, while Transition built its energy on the back of a drum ‘n’ bass shuffle before roaring into a potent drum ‘n’ bass groove.

Bratoeff’s use of harmonic tension and release is sublime both in composition and improvisation. His solos on Escallier and Fallen Courses demonstrated this capacity with choice chords deployed at unanticipated and illuminating moments, together with a Scofield-esque panache for blending concise abstract statements with plush rock/post-bop phrases in the melodic development. Mark Hanslip (sax) also expressed himself through abstract and post-bop assertions in his improvisation, which was coherent and reasoned throughout. Tom Mason (bass) displayed a wonderfully rich tone, proving to be the ideal vessel for these often intense and brooding compositions.

Under the haze of a post-performance glow Bratoeff told me, “Melodies are really important ... you get melody, harmony and rhythm and bam, bam, bam.” So, however enigmatically, therein lays the secret to this honest and powerful music.

 

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