Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Review: Masada - Live In Sevilla 2000

‘Live In Sevilla’, recorded in 2000, is another stellar live effort from one of the then most-recorded quartets in modern jazz. Live Masada albums of course are far from being short in supply, but Sevilla is perhaps a strong contender for first port of call for anyone who wants to look into the group, live or otherwise.

Notably the sound is absolutely pristine, with excellent sonics, and superb clearly defined instruments. But most of all the band on the night and the recording itself just crackles; with energy, with spontanaeity and with incredible intensity.

The band play at a personal peak here, with John Zorn having upped his more lyrical side, and trumpeter Dave Douglas having become simultaneously one of the most distinctive players on the scene and also Zorn’s perfect counter soloist. The rhythm section here however are exemplary, with a strong groove feeling throughout, and Joey Baron providing some soulful yet driving drumming, entirely with his hands in place of the sticks (which most often works best in this group), whilst Greg Cohen provides deep and resonant pulsing bass everywhere.

So, the best sound, of one of the best recorded nights of a band playing at their very best; ‘Live In Sevilla’ is a first rate album from a group that continues to make a distinctive Eastern free jazz that both goes more out there, yet is also incredibly accessible. Richly ethnically infused jazz, this is a fantastic recording.


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