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Mareike Wiening — Reveal
(Bandcamp Greenleaf, 2023, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2024-02-22

Reveal Cover art

Working once more with her established band, drummer Mareike Wiening with Reveal has produced another outstanding album of contemporary jazz. Rich Perry (tenor saxophone), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Alex Goodman (guitar), and Johannes Felscher (bass ) are skilled at Wiening’s style of composition, which takes after giants who came into their own in the 60s, like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and George Russell. This is jazz that is not based on the blues or the Great American Songbook, but borne of musicians with a wide range of influences. It lacks what I think of as the formalism found in Third Stream, and also avoids influences from funk and rock. Maybe “avoids” is the wrong word — I don’t get the sense that Wiening consciously avoids these things, it’s just that they’re not part of her idiom. I should also emphasize that there’s nothing weird or experimental about the music on Reveal. It is recognizably jazz, and while it does have plenty of fascinating little twists to it, there’s nothing that would alienate any jazz fan who’s comfortable with music beyond the Smooth category. The title track is a catchy upbeat tune that would be at home on a 60s Freddie Hubbard album, and “Time for Priorities” has some very nice interplay between sax and guitar. “Declaration of Truth” is probably my favorite, with its interlocking piano, guitar, and bass parts. Trumpeter Dave Douglas, founder of Greenleaf Music, guests on three tracks for some additional timbres. Mareike Wiening is a talented composer as well as being a skilled drummer, and her music is amongst the finest of modern acoustic jazz.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Mareike Wiening

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