CHBO Drums – 0419NY
(Safehouse 194660755995. CD review by Frank Griffith)
0419NY was recorded in April 2019 in Kerhonkson in New York state (hence the title), 80 miles North of NYC, and not far from drummer Chris Bowman’s home in New Paltz. The collective quartet also involves Joe Giardullo on saxes and flute, Jim Donica on bass and Brant Tilds, an American expatriate currently based in Bedfordshire in the UK, on trumpet.
Detroit born and raised Tilds studied at Indiana University, then migrated to Los Angeles where he earned his Masters Degree at CalArts, studying there with Charlie Haden. In addition to being a fine trumpeter and composer, Brant is no mean percussionist as well, having spent time in many Salsa and Afro-Cuban bands throughout the LA area.
The six pieces that make up this CD vary greatly in mood, tempi and intent. Three of which, Better Days, Immigration Rumble and Starsky and Hutch (well, he did live in LA) are Tilds’ compositions, which shine well and give the recording sufficient gravitas. I use the term “compositions” somewhat loosely, as they are more launching pads and blueprints for collective improvisation. This is accomplished brilliantly by this fearsome foursome throughout the CD. Lots of conversation between the trumpet and sax makes a welcome change to the more common serial soloists format.
The recording quality is certainly unique and interesting as well. The horns sound a bit in the background, whereas the bass and drums are given the forefront, enabling them to insinuate the motifs while also providing an underpinning energetic fuel to drive the collective’s intentions. Donica’s bass sound has a deep quality with a cloaking breadth to it that provides a warmth and solidity against the higher qualities and aspirations of the horns and percussion.
Fans of a more open and improvisatory approach that is less prescriptive and conventional than mainstream jazz (whatever that is, these days) will welcome this CD. Climb aboard this extra-terrestrial craft and absorb the journey of celestial sonorities that it offers.
LINK: Buy the album