By: Mark Holston, JAZZIZ
A trio fronted by a baritone saxophonist might suggest an embrace of minimalism in the extreme, yet this nine-track affair is anything but. Shaped by the leader’s restless compositions and adventuresome arranging concepts, Night unfolds as a joyful celebration of stylistic diversity delivered with an unscripted flair.
Born in Argentina and nurtured in Israel, Eden Bareket is today a New York City-based reedman who delights in exploring and amplifying the myriad ways in which the bari can be used. His sidemen — bassist Or Bareket, the leader’s brother, and Chilean drummer Felix Lecaros — are also well attuned to stretching the roles of their instruments far beyond conventional timekeeping functions. The woodwind artist leads by example, often voicing a rhythm-defining ostinato line customarily reserved for the bassist or providing jagged, percussive inflections. He does so with a growling, staccato attack on “You’re Wrong” before launching a blistering, bebop-grounded solo behind drummer Lecaros’ choppy accents; and on “Birds,” where his barrage of 16th notes interlocks playfully with the pulse of his brother’s bass. Elsewhere on the track, the bari adds a backdrop of feathery held notes behind the bassist’s solo.
Bareket’s technique on the baritone captures a virtual catalogue of the instrument’s sonic capabilities, from guttural outbursts in the lower register to upper-range squeals and everything in between. Tidy takes, averaging about four minutes in length, avoid overkill and leave the listener pining for more. Particularly attractive performances include “Canadian Sea Monster,” which proves to be a cuddly creature in disguise enlivened by the leader’s soft, bluesy intonation; and “Children’s Play,” where the bari embraces a round-like background form. “Lost Melody” is the only work not composed by the leader. Featured on bass clarinet, Bareket uses overdubs to create the essence of a woodwind choir to pleasing effect and provides yet another example of the magical moments that make Night so intriguing.— Mark Holston