Sebastien Ammann, “One” from Color Wheel (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

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Feature photo: Erika Kapin

Color Wheel is the latest vehicle for Swiss-born pianist Sebastien Ammann’s bracing and transcendent compositions that opens up wide both the plotted and improv spigots. Inspired by the advanced stylings of Paul Motian and Jimmy Guiffre, Ammann found the right guys to advance his multifaceted vision in alto saxophonist Michaël Attias, bassist Noah Garabedian and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell. Last week, Color Wheel bowed with their self-titled first album through Chris Speed’s Skirl Records imprint.

Color Wheel gets off to a strong start with “One,” which you can exclusively stream above. “One” is a math-y jazz number featuring the kind of rhythm/melody intertwining often heard on Tim Berne’s ensembles, but not so tight that individual drive is dampened. Both harmony and rhythm zigs and zags together in a code only the players understand, throwing a puzzle out there for the listener to solve.

Nevertheless, it’s clear from Attias’ and then Ammann’s respective solos that they themselves have a firm command of the complex melody. Garabedian has the final say-so on the matter before a brief revisit of that choppy head.

Best of all, they achieve their mission of stimulating, dynamic jazz in the span of a fairly concise four minutes. Nothing is wasted on “One.”

Purchase Color Wheel from here.

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