Jeremy Udden | Plainville

Fresh Sound New Talent (2009)
By JON GARELICK  |  July 29, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

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Saxophonist and composer Udden (formerly of NEC and the Either/Orchestra) here dives deeper into the jazz-pop connections he began to explore in his 2006 debut as a leader, Torchsongs. Like the Brian Blade Fellowship and Aaron Parks, among others, Udden is drawing from the stream of contemporary pop to create original jazz compositions, and with distinct ideas about arranging and instrumentation.

Named for his Massachusetts home town (and with a sepia-toned photo of the local general store on the cover), Plainville makes a clear Americana connection that could owe a bit to Bill Frisell as well. But Udden has his own thing.

A churchy harmonium introduces the opening title tune, followed by a plinky-plink banjo rhythm and Udden's affecting alto melody. Yet Americana doesn't completely explain the stiff-legged waltz of "Red Coat Lane," with Brandon Seabrook's aggressively "out" banjo solo, or Seabrook's grungy electric guitar and the exotic Sun Ra thump of "Curb," or the lyrical alto-bass free duet (Udden and Eivind Opsvik) in the middle of the fractured-rock "Big Lick," or the use of Fender Rhodes piano throughout. Udden's Plainville is a fully-imagined musical world.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Bill Frisell, Sun Ra, Jeremy Udden,  More more >
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