Review: David Ades & Friends Live

Venue 505, 4th July 2012

Reviewed by Andrew Gander on Jazz & Beyond, published 6th April 2013

Andrew Gander's High Five

...1. DAVE ADES - Venue 505: (David Goodman, drums; Cameron Undy, bass; Dave Ades, alto; Zach Hurren, tenor)

Chordless ensembles allow increased space for the drummer’s improvisational dialogue with bass and horns, pushing him/her to expand the time-functioning and comping roles beyond conventional formulae. The context also necessarily tends to entail a more vivid portrayal of form by means of alluding to changes and outlining structural markers in the absence of piano or guitar. David Goodman’s masterful playing with the Dave Ades Quartet delivered on all those requirements in spades. Moreover, he has forged a coherent voice that integrates a wide palette of diverse drumming influences - from Motian, DeJohnette and Higgins to Colaiuta, Novak and Rossy – with a self-consistent concept of drum tuning (Sonor Designer Maple Light: toms & snare - mid to upper-mid range head tension; bass drum - low-mid range tension, controlled resonance) and cymbal sound (Bosphorus Masters Series Turks: 22” & 20” – mid-light weight, focused, dry, warm, clean attack, low pitched wash, some with one rivet) that yielded a very satisfying & cohesive sonic blend, both within the music and the room, across a wide textural and dynamic spectrum.

Following the lead of Buell Neidlinger’s ‘Big Drum’ CD, David’s compelling take on polymetric interaction with this quartet reconciles the unbounded, angular territory of a-rhythmical ‘free’ drumming with what Colaiuta called ‘a scholarly approach to the axe’(i.e. one whose processes operate within certain parameters of math & meter). Dave’s overall angle of approach then is informed by a mature musicianship and technical discipline with a sensibility that is both visceral and cerebral, in that he manages as an improviser to loosely yet cogently deploy layers of rhythmic displacement, artificial subdivision and metric modulation while tactfully supporting the band’s dynamic/emotional contours and sustaining an open, organic, connection with the often highly abstract and emotionally free-ranging cross-conversations that characterize this quartet’s music....


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