"Such a pleasure to hear my friend Bob Gluck's newest album of duets with drummer Tani Tabbal (whose day gig is with Roscoe Mitchell).
Bob and I share an interest (obsession, perhaps) with incorporating electronics (synthesizers, laptops, Ableton Live, etc.) in jazz orchestrations. He's written a couple of great books on that subject and made several electronic/acoustic albums, including a recent one with Eddie Henderson and Billy Hart, bandmates of mine years ago in Herbie Hancock's electro/acoustic Mwandishi band.
This album, however, is nearly evenly divided between songs rendered electro-acoustically and others that are piano and drums alone. On the evidence of the album you are about to hear, Bob and Tani are especially suited to play together. Bob's approach to jazz improvisation is in the grand tradition of Art Tatum--floridly melodic, emotional and accomplished. Tani's approach has been to amplify this ongoing stream of musical ideas in a way that's both spare and grand. I'm especially taken with their rendering of Shorter's "Sanctuary," a mysterious and eccentric piece that can be the graveyard of soloists who try to play it as a melody over a series of chords, most of them purporting to be complex versions of D). Bob's deconstructive approach relies less on chord symbols and more on exploring Shorter's elusive melody with shape-shifting scales and responsive musical ideas.
I listened first to these wonderful acoustic pieces and turned to the electro/acoustic songs with mild misgivings, prepared to be a little disappointed. The acoustic set would be a hard act to follow and figuring out ways of incorporating electronics in jazz isn't easy. Many, ok most, attempts quickly dumb down into cliche or bombast.
I needn't have worried. Bob and Tani's original composition, "Resolve," for instance, has the same fluidity and grand scope of the acoustic pieces. Each of the other electro-acoustic pieces exhibits the same high level of accomplishment, including Bob and Tani's witty "Premonition," where a hapless synth ostinato is driven more or less mad by an explosion of rhythmic percussion ideas before giving up and muttering into silence.
Great work, guys. I'm definitely envious!"
June 2017, Los Angeles
At This Time
Bob Gluck: piano and electronics
Ictus Records (Ictus CD 181), November 2017
Tani Tabbal: drums
1 I Fall in Love Too Easily, piano solo (Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn) (5:26)
2 Resolve (Bob Gluck & Tani Tabbal) (4:27)
3 Sanctuary (Wayne Shorter) (5:10)
4 Premonition (Bob Gluck & Tani Tabbal) (4:56)
5 El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido (The People United Will Never Be Defeated) (Sergio Ortega) (7:25)
6 Lest it Fade Away (Bob Gluck & Tani Tabbal) (5:49)
7 I Fall in Love Too Easily, duet (Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn) (3:30)
8 Persistence (Bob Gluck & Tani Tabbal) (6:43)
9 El pueblo unido (version 2) (6:57)
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8: Electricsongs, ASCAP / Tani Tabbal, BMI
Keyboards: Yamaha acoustic piano, Roli Seaboard Grand, Keith McMillan QueNexus, Yamaha P60
Software: Ableton Live, Madrona Labs Aalto w/ Lemur iPad interface, Kontakt
Dedicated to Charlie Haden, a model of musician activism
Bob Gluck: Pianist,
composer, writer. Gluck's repertoire spans jazz, live electronic, and
avant-garde concert music. Collaborators have included Michael Bisio, Jane Ira Bloom, Billy Hart, Aruan Ortiz, Andrew Sterman, Neil Rolnick, Ken Filiano, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Eddie Henderson, Ken Filiano, Joe Giardullo, Eddie Allen, Ras Moshe Burnett, and Dean Sharp.
Dynamic drummer. Tabbal has recorded & performed with Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, Geri Allen, Cassandra Wilson, James Carter, Karl Berger, Dewey Redman, David 'Fathead' Newman, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Douglas Ewart, Oliver Lake, Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Richard Davis, Leroy Jenkins, Milt Jackson, and Jackie McLean.
@ Ictus Records, Band Camp, iTunes...
Painting by Bob Gluck (1971)
Design: Andrea Centazzo
Engineer: Ted Orr at Sertso Studios, Woodstock, New York
Recorded with no overdubs on March 10, 2017
Produced for Ictus Records by Andrea Centazzo
Patrick Gleeson: "Bob's approach to jazz improvisation is in the grand tradition of Art Tatum - floridly melodic, emotional and accomplished. Tani's approach has been to amplify this ongoing stream of musical ideas in a way that's both spare and grand."
Grady Harp (Amazon Reviews): "[a] sensationally successful recording ... it is the magic they make together that sets us on our ear. More than just passionate music, this is music that unites us."
Doug Simpson (Audiophile Audition): **** "There's a context of revolution and evolution ... tellingly described as 'an artistic reflection on the political struggles of our time'... Gluck commences with a beautiful solo piano rendition of 'I Fall in Love Too Easily' which presents his superb acoustic piano approach... Another CD high spot is the duet arrangement of Shorter's 'Sanctuary'... Gluck and Tabbal don't make this akin to what Davis/Shorter did. They dispense with melody and concentrate on harmonics to sculpt a deconstruction of the music, with transformed scales and transmuted aggressiveness... At This Time: Duets is an iconoclastic effort, to say the least..."
Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz): "Tabbal masterfully executes with a touch that blends with Glucks electronics in a way that makes the two parts a whole sound... highlights both cagy and unconventional interplay and subtle atmospherics, and like everything in Gluck's catalog, it is as intriguing as it is listenable."