The Post Modern Jazz Quartet/Scanner (Electronic): Blink of an Eye

Audio Samples

>Shadow Splice
>C Jam Blues
>Galaxy of Winking Dots, A
>Not a Frame Earlier or Later
>Involuntary Reflex
>Most With the Least
>Dreaming With You At My Side
>Decisive Moment, The
>Cuts and Shadows
>Beyond the Edge of the Frame

Track List

>Shadow Splice
>C Jam Blues
>Galaxy of Winking Dots, A
>Not a Frame Earlier or Later
>Involuntary Reflex
>Most With the Least
>Dreaming With You At My Side
>Decisive Moment, The
>Cuts and Shadows
>Beyond the Edge of the Frame

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"From the very first sounds heard on Blink of An Eye's "Shadow Splice," a ground is gradually established with bass piano chords, a minor-key string bass arco line, a floating vibe resonance and steady pulse rising from the cymbals.

As the Ellingtonian "Blues In C" evokes, the source of improvisational music is the tradition of jazz. No argument. But over time, the tools feeding into that tradition change and become a go-to part of the instrumental inventory, more so now than in the nascent application of electronics by Miles Davis or Ornette Coleman. British musician, Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner, masterfully integrates electronic sounds into the acoustic brilliance that emanates from the foursome of the Post Modern Jazz Quartet. The electronics are responsible for the sonic details that the acoustic instruments cannot create. These details unite the spaces between the radiance illuminated by the acoustic instruments and perceptual imagination.

Each acoustic musician clearly has his own voice; collectively, these voices weave through and interact with a multiplicity of synthetically generated organ-like drones, multi-string and chord simulation, static or oscillating chatter, blip ostinatos, siren codas, specifically pitched hums, haunting wind washes, and desirable beat-box overloads. In kind, Rimbaud steers the electronic voice through the acoustic performances, participating in the group like anyone else. He even performs his own solo in "Dreaming With You At My Side."

The sound character of the acoustic instruments looms large. PianistMatthew Shipp's repeated chords and beautiful melodic phrases are indomitable; he even goes inside the piano to counter the Scanner's digital configurations in "The Decisive Moment." To complement the inclusion of binary-ridden electronics, Khan Jamal's flawless and discrete mallet gestures interlock into a glorious ringing over the intense bass tonality. As exemplified in "Most With The Least," bassistMichael Bisio plays nothing less than healthy pulsating pizzicatos which are never lost midst the Hertz-ian phantasmagoria that fills the atmosphere. How drummer Michael Thompson and Bisio together maintain the rhythm puts to rest the notion that an electronically driven beat supersedes whatever humans can do, especially when both musicians are playing within the same time structure to which electronics singularly contribute.

The "Post" in Post Modern Jazz Quartet is not simply a prefix chosen by chance to defer to the name of the great Modern Jazz Quartet. "Post" means "after," implying that improvised music has to graduate to a contemporary state of mind and needs to be accepted in present time for the explorations it engenders rather than being trapped, never to evolve out of the old school. Even members of the old school, like Duke Ellington, might be the first to say "Bravo!" In Blink of An Eye, Scanner invents riveting arpeggios similar to those Charlie Parker once presented on his alto sax to club audiences. They looked askance at this new music at first, but, eventually came back, repeatedly, for more." -AllAboutJazz

"If the early works of Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) can be described as voyeuristic, then Blink of An Eye might just be Frotteurism, the act of touching others, usually in crowds, without their ever knowing. On Blink of An Eye he alters, accents and manipulates a jazz quartet's sound, often without it being obvious.

Scanner began producing music in the late 1980s/early 1990s by pirating cellphone calls and working them into his electronic sound, an approach that fits nicely with pianist Matthew Shipp's "nubop" concept. Rimbaud and Shipp built this recording around the tradition and lineup of the famed Modern Jazz Quartet - piano, vibes, bass, and drums. Here, Shipp is joined by vibraphonist Khan Jamal, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Michael Thompson.

Rimbaud's contribution, unlike a turntable DJ/producer, isn't one of mucking things up or shepherding the jazz into club music. He prefers to accentuate the concepts of the quartet instead of distract from it. Shipp and company are content to advance the original Modern Jazz Quartet's approach to the traditions of jazz into the 21st century.

Rimbaud applies synth washes, barely noticeable at times. Echoey reverberations of the music-making are ghostly and wistful. Jamal's ringing vibraphone, on the standard "Blues In C," echoes back upon the players, as Scanner manipulates the reverb, and Shipp searches out notes between eerie synth jabs. The electronics never feel foreign to the quartet's progression, nor do they deflect the drive. Previous Shipp discs, including Equilibrium (Thirsty Ear, 2004) and Harmony And Abyss(Thirsty Ear, 2003), may have set the table for this collaboration, but here the fusion (bad word) of jazz and electronics is a success.

From the jazz tradition, the band moves toward an open and rapid groove on "Most With the Least," as Rimbaud whispers with electronic mice, the producer even pulling out his voice samples on "Not A Frame Earlier Or Later." The disc ends with Shipp's nubop groove on "Beyond The Edge Of The Frame," perhaps hinting at the next progression for this collaboration." -AllAboutJazz

"From the very first sounds heard on Blink of An Eye's "Shadow Splice," a ground is gradually established with bass piano chords, a minor-key string bass arco line, a floating vibe resonance and steady pulse rising from the cymbals.

As the Ellingtonian "Blues In C" evokes, the source of improvisational music is the tradition of jazz. No argument. But over time, the tools feeding into that tradition change and become a go-to part of the instrumental inventory, more so now than in the nascent application of electronics byMiles Davis or Ornette Coleman. British musician, Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner, masterfully integrates electronic sounds into the acoustic brilliance that emanates from the foursome of the Post Modern Jazz Quartet. The electronics are responsible for the sonic details that the acoustic instruments cannot create. These details unite the spaces between the radiance illuminated by the acoustic instruments and perceptual imagination.

Each acoustic musician clearly has his own voice; collectively, these voices weave through and interact with a multiplicity of synthetically generated organ-like drones, multi-string and chord simulation, static or oscillating chatter, blip ostinatos, siren codas, specifically pitched hums, haunting wind washes, and desirable beat-box overloads. In kind, Rimbaud steers the electronic voice through the acoustic performances, participating in the group like anyone else. He even performs his own solo in "Dreaming With You At My Side."

The sound character of the acoustic instruments looms large. PianistMatthew Shipp's repeated chords and beautiful melodic phrases are indomitable; he even goes inside the piano to counter the Scanner's digital configurations in "The Decisive Moment." To complement the inclusion of binary-ridden electronics, Khan Jamal's flawless and discrete mallet gestures interlock into a glorious ringing over the intense bass tonality. As exemplified in "Most With The Least," bassist Michael Bisio plays nothing less than healthy pulsating pizzicatos which are never lost midst the Hertz-ian phantasmagoria that fills the atmosphere. How drummer Michael Thompson and Bisio together maintain the rhythm puts to rest the notion that an electronically driven beat supersedes whatever humans can do, especially when both musicians are playing within the same time structure to which electronics singularly contribute.

The "Post" in Post Modern Jazz Quartet is not simply a prefix chosen by chance to defer to the name of the great Modern Jazz Quartet. "Post" means "after," implying that improvised music has to graduate to a contemporary state of mind and needs to be accepted in present time for the explorations it engenders rather than being trapped, never to evolve out of the old school. Even members of the old school, like Duke Ellington, might be the first to say "Bravo!" InBlink of An Eye, Scanner invents riveting arpeggios similar to those Charlie Parker once presented on his alto sax to club audiences. They looked askance at this new music at first, but, eventually came back, repeatedly, for more." -AllAboutJazz

Album Reviews:

JazzTimes (p.62) - "The evolution of jazztronica continues, and this collaboration illustrates how the subgenre is maturing."

Album Notes

Personnel: Matthew Shipp (piano); Robin Rimbaud (keyboards, electronics); Khan Jamal (vibraphone); Michael Thompson (drums).

Audio Mixers: Robin Rimbaud; Scanner .

Recording information: MPI Studios, New York, NY (2010); The Soap Factory, London, England (2010).

Photographers: Robin Rimbaud; Scanner .

Arrangers: Robin Rimbaud; Scanner .



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