Machine Mass featuring Dave Liebman — Inti
(Moonjune MJR060, 2012, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-05-25
Saxophonist Dave Liebman has a career stretching back to the 70s, a resume that includes much expansion of jazz beyond its traditional sounds; Machine Mass (Michel Delville and Tony Bianco) have a somewhat shorter history, but have a similar penchant for taking jazz into new realms. In particular, the use of electronics features prominently, in part to fulfill the role of bass, but also simply to expand the palette of sounds available. While I have nothing against the use of guitar synthesizers on principle, I have to say I'm not fond of them being used to substitute for other instruments. If you want the sound of an upright bass, hire a bassist, for goodness sake. That being said, the proof is in the listening, and Inti sounds great. If you close your eyes, ignore the credits, and listen, you'll hear some outstanding playing from all involved, and likely won't realize that neither a bassist nor a keyboard player took part in the sessions. Liebman shines on tenor and soprano saxes, and ventures to wooden flute as well. His playing is stellar, managing to be edgy and melodic, intimate and expansive. And the combination of his organic sound with Delville's guitar results in a great balance of tones. The guitar eschews shredder clichés and gets out of the typical jazz-guitar box. Many of us are familiar with his work with The Wrong Object and Doubt, and here too he excels. Tony Bianco handles the drum kit admirably, at times swinging like a bop veteran, at other times slipping into free tempos and unpredictable sounds. While not without its (minor) shortcomings, Inti is a treat for jazz fans and those who like their guitar a little outside the standard fare.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more