Parker/Neal/Sorbara / At Somewhere There
Album: At Somewhere There   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Parker/Neal/Sorbara   Added:Jan 2012
Label:Barnyard Records  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2012-06-02 Pull Date: 2012-08-05 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Aug 5 Jul 22
Airplays: 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 30, 2012: Polar Similarities
At Somewhere There
2. Jul 18, 2012: maximum entropy
At Somewhere There

Album Review
librae jackson
Reviewed 2012-05-21
This is a one track set, which is 39:56 in length. No lyrics; no FCC issues.

This is obviously a cd to be filed in the Jazz category. However, its lack of any apparent groove, swing or direction could cause some to question if such classification is appropriate. The music is comprised of instruments that are typically associated with Jazz (tenor sax, upright bass, light drums & percussion).

Furthermore, it’s done in the improvisational spirit of a Jazz recording. However, it seems like it would be less of a delight for Jazz lovers, than for music enthusiasts, who simply have a curious ear for…. sound. Still, the abstract Jazz aficionados with eclectic tastes (and plenty of patience) would probably enjoy it. I enjoyed it. Perhaps it could just be described as free musicality. You, the listener, can decide for yourself. The statement of the musicians has already been made. It is what it is….whatever it is.

The session literally starts with a bang, immediately followed by an array of percussion sounds by Joe Sorbara. Shortly thereafter, Wes Neal enters with frenetic plucks of the upright bass, to whet the appetite for what’s in store. The intro continues with Evan Parker’s tenor sax coming in at the 0:54 mark, to join the party. Though the sax enlivens the environment and increases the tone, the mood is still rather mellow. But that only lasts a short while. It’s a temporary calm before the sound storm. What eventually comes and continues throughout the end, is a hodgepodge of random notes and continuous ebbs, with no flows. But the sounds of the bass, sax and percussion together are such that the noise is not unbearable. It’s actually a very interesting journey, once you embark.

Throughout the recording (which, again, is all improvisation), it’s as if the musicians are feeling each other out….feeling their own selves out….finding out what diversity of sound their respective instruments can make…….seeing where the music takes them (individually and collectively). In fact, this was the first time that these 3 musicians had ever played together, according to the liner notes. Indeed, it can be hard to follow, if you look for a specific path in your music. All in all, I’d say that this piece remains quite pleasant, though clamorous and discordant at times. The noise is not an “ear-ritant” (my new word – other reviewers can borrow, if you’d like).

There’s a dip in action at the 5:15-6:45 mark , where all becomes low, and Neal & Sorbara trade inflections, without the power of Parker’s sax to increase the volume mix (might be a good place for a mic break – to speak, read a psa, etc.). Parker’s sax eventually comes back at the 7:00 mark, as if to persuade the others unto a louder, more rambunctious play field.

There’s another such dip in action at 16:35-20:00 (an opportunity for a longer mic break, if the first one escaped you).
At 30:40- 32:00, Sorbara contributes a constant bell sound to his assortment of percussion. It’s at this point that his busy percussion becomes reminiscent of a steel worker, or a laborer in a related trade. In fact, the whole piece sounds like something being built….a structure in progress… a busy pace…..with an end result in mind. Ah, yes. Could it be that there is a method to the madness?

Another dip inaction is experienced at the 32:00 mark, where you get the picture of Neal and Sorbara as 2 artisans, working together on a particularly detailed portion of the assignmen...a fine-tuning, of sorts. Parker comes back in at 34:05, as if to add suggestions. It appears as if his feedback is regarded, because at 36:20, his leadership takes them toward a frantic crescendo, which endures until the end of the piece. Only silence is heard for the last 9 seconds, as if to require all involved (players and listeners) to stop and reflect upon what just happened.

Librae Jackson (brother brae)

Track Listing
  1. At Somewhere There