FROM THE REGION
Jason Adasiewicz – Vibraphone
Ingerbrigt Haker-Flatten – Bass
Mike Reed – Drums
Distinctive vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz’s third release with his Sunrooms, From the Region, brims with a keen explorative sense and delightfully eccentric ideas, both marks of his unique musicianship. The eleven tracks thread the border zone between advanced, bop and full on flirtations with the avant garde without entirely surrendering to either style.
The somewhat mystical “The Song I Wrote for Tonight” opens with sparse, dramatic overlapping soliloquys that evolve into stimulating three-way conversations. Adasiewicz’s mallets roll and strike with breathtaking virtuosity and together with his band-mates’ percolating backdrop create a subtly angular sound. Bassist Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (who replaced Nate McBride) takes a warm, lyrical turn in the spotlight with impressive agility as Adasiewicz’ chimes and drummer Mike Reed’s brushes provide Spartan support.
Haker-Flaten’s unaccompanied, intricate bass stylings commence the intriguing “Two Comes One.” Haker-Flaten and Reid’s bluesy, hypnotic vamps contrast cleverly with Adasiewicz’s progressive, textured harmonies. This concurrence of seemingly disparate musical motifs forms the thematic backbone of the album.
Hard swinging “Leeza,” for instance, evolves from a simmering repetitive rumble to a provocative spontaneous piece. Adasiewicz’s crystalline bars resonate with a dark hue and a mordant edge as he embellishes and simultaneously deconstructs the main melody. Reed’s constructed solo—thunderous and primal, yet elegant—thrillingly brings the tune back to its boppish head.
Adasiewicz often introduces Thelonious Monk-like whimsy into his compositions. Deceptively simple, droll phrases are the building blocks of “Old Sparky.” However, they quickly expand into dynamic, free-flowing waves of improvised notes and beats. The electrifying sonic storm gradually fades into its elemental and witty refrains.
With this captivating record, Adasiewicz succeeds in balancing the accessible with the innovative while avoiding both the mundane and the obscure. From the Region is yet another demonstration as to why Adasiewicz is one of the most exciting jazz musicians working today.
By: Hrayr Attarian