alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi
Through all that’s changed in jazz in the last hundred or so years, quality interaction has always made great jazz great. A saxophonist’s line responding to a vocalist’s lyric, a drummer and bassist pushing and pulling the groove into the right feel. Solo albums sometimes fall flat for want of it, and large ensembles can give so much of it so freely that it almost becomes worthless noise. A duo album, such as Bram Weijters & Chad McCullough’s Feather, can suffer from both by not having enough people for new and varied interaction or by being so free together that it becomes over-reactive with interaction. Fortunately, Weijters and McCullough balance their interaction with groove and musicality as they string each song into a multifaceted gem of an album.
I just moved over the weekend in with my grandmother who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Because of this, I have a sneaking suspicion that I may not be doing the show live for a while until we get a rhythm sorted out/I can convince my family that I'll be okay going out at night and returning to this increasingly gentrifying neighborhood without peril if we're a God-fearing family who believes we are under His protection (I'm just saying…). Anyway, I didn't say all that on the radio. Instead, I brought another week of new music, as The Line-Up does.
The Line-Up for 14 April 2017
I've had "Lucid Lullaby" stuck in my head for weeks. It took an equal amount of time for the humor of the literal nature of the song title to wash over me, but that phrase singing forth from Linda May Han Oh's bass, haunting me perpetually, is the perfect little melody. Oh as a composer has always been adept at writing perfect little melodies throughout her body of work. This is no more clear than in her latest release, Walk Against Wind, out Friday on Biophilia Records.
The 2017 KRTU Spring Membership Drive has ended and the new radio tower has just turned on, expanding the station's power to 30,000 watts. Of course, this here is the internet and The Line-Up continues as usual, but things are going pretty great for our little jazz station in San Antonio and I'm pretty psyched about that.
The Line-Up for 7 April 2017
What is the actual difference between adventurous, guitar-based contemporary jazz music and instrumental post-rock? Depending on the day, I can get down just as much to Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai as much as I would to Rafiq Bhatia or, in this particular case, Matthew Stevens. For the creators, there's likely little difference, or moreso it matters less to these folks, but if you just had to put your finger on justs what exactly is going on here in the music, there's the finest lines being leapt over like a game of hopscotch in these particular sounds and a true philosophical question could be asked of these creations, particularly in regard to branding and association. With this in mind, Matthew Stevens' sophomore album, Preverbal, has a lot to unpack.