Half Notes: Tyshawn Sorey – Oblique-I (2011)

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photo source: allaboutjazz.com


Drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey is said to one of up-and-comers whose due for an arrival. Gaining notice as a member of Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, Steve Lehman’s combo as well as Pete Robbins’ sILENT Z, Sorey’s also studied under Anthony Braxton and is currently studying under George Lewis. But he’s not waiting to finish his studies to make his mark, and his third album Oblique-I sounds to me like this is the arrival everyone’s been predicting. Aided by Loren Stillman (alto sax), Todd Neufeld (guitars), John Escreet (piano, electric piano) and Chris Tordini (bass), Sorey creates fractured, labyrinthine melodies, à la Henry Threadgill, that are very effective in creating tension amongst all the players, and also allows Sorey to reveal just what a skilled rhythmist he truly is. “Forty” (video of a live performance below) give testimony to that. “Seventeen” is another standout, a tale of two distinct, dynamic rhythms each of which Sorey undertakes with lethal, precise force as Neufield’s acoustic guitar provides an unlikely perfect sparring partner. Tyshawn Sorey is a name to remember, and Oblique-I is plenty enough reason why not to forget it.

Oblique-I was released September 27 by PI Recordings, his debut for this label. Visit Tyshawn Sorey’s website.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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