CD review

Will Glaser – Climbing in Circles Pt 2

Will Glaser – Climbing in Circles Pt 2
(Bandcamp here and other online only – Review by Peter Slavid)

Drummer and percussionist Will Glaser produced Climbing in Circles, a duo album with saxophonist Matthew Herd earlier this year. (Reviewed here at https://londonjazznews.com/2019/03/02/download-review-matthew-herd-will-glaser-climbing-in-circles/) 

Part 2 is another duo album, and this time Will Glaser is teamed with pianist Liam Noble.  Both albums feature five standards and four improvisations, and what’s fascinating is that several tunes are common.  Both albums are available as downloads only, and there is a real benefit from this because it allows you to flip easily between two versions of the same tune and to compare and contrast them.

Will says that “The aim of both albums was to focus in on the effect personality plays in improvised music and jazz, and how even the same tunes played in similar duo contexts with the same drummer can have wildly different end results”, and that’s certainly true.

The most obvious difference is Noble’s predilection for slightly out of sync rhythms that fit differently with percussion from Herd’s approach which was much more melodic, with Glaser providing the rhythmic complexity.

A good example is Jitterbug Waltz.  With Herd it opens with some skittering drums before the sax enters with the melody.  With Noble the feel is a bit different. Here Noble takes the lead and there are sections where Glaser sits in the background, others where he pushes the music onward.   Not all the standards are duplicated.  I Want To Be Happy chosen by Noble, starts with a typical Noble melody of slightly off-kilter notes before settling into the straightforward melody and improvisations including Glaser’s drum solo.

Apart from the standards, there are four improvisations. These are naturally all rather different, and vary in style from intricate to fierce, with piano and drums working well together.  I particularly liked the powerful Improvisation 1 where Glaser starts in the background with some insistent ticking and gradually pushes forward to be an equal partner by the end.

I’d recommend getting both parts if only to compare them and to consider the similarities and differences.

Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations

Categories: CD review

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