by Willard Manus
Particles is a band that loves to tackle challenging material, especially
by avant-garde jazz composers. A case in point is LIVE AT THE BAKED POTATO,
the new Summit Records release in which they pay tribute to the music
of the late Michael Brecker.
Brecker, a titan on the saxophone, was also a prolific and adventurous
composer (he died in 2007 at age 57). Charged Particles (Murray Low, keyboards;
Aaron Germain, bass; Jon Krosnick, drums) invited tenor-man Tod Dickow
to join forces with them on LIVE, which was recorded at L.A.s Baked
Potato on March 17, 2019.
I certainly listened to enough of Mikes music that its
going to come out in my playing, said Dickow. But its
not really like Ive ever outright tried to imitate him. I just know
some of the devices that he used have become part of my playing. Hes
a model of perfection and Ive always looked at his playing as something
to strive for.
and Charged Particles spent considerable time rehearsing the music they
played at the Baked Potato, if only because it was so difficult and demanding
with its tricky tempos and dramatic leaps into the high registers of the
jazz idiom. When people listen to us, they realize that weve
done the homework to put on a show that took preparation and that has
lots of dramatic value and communicative power as a result, said
Of LIVEs nine tracks, all were written by Brecker, except for the
lyrical tune, Talking to Myself which was composed by Don
Grolnick. Charged Particles plays its heart out on tunes like Peep,
Arc of the Pendulum and African Skies (congas
by Omar Ledezma), enjoying the opportunity to explore open-ended music
in a free and high-spirited way.