CD Voices

Michael White Quintet - Voices

Michael White’s latest album, Voices, breaks free from the familiar sounds and themes often found in jazz recordings. Rather, this composition brings together five truly talented artists to create music that smoothly blends the pleasing counterpoints of jazz with the complex structuring of classical music. Abandoning brass and woodwinds entirely, the Michael White Quintet has instead decided to iterate the members’ mutual tenets of “Love, Healing, Inspiration & Hope” through White’s highly articulated violin instrumentation and the occasional vocal, yet wordless, interjections of Leisei Chen.

Often relying on pizzicato and dissonant chords, the three strings of this quartet, White’s violin, Michael Howell’s guitar, and Cecil McBee’s bass, unite to form restless though soothing lines that beautifully unfold in their layering. Their musical conjectures make room for each player to be followed as a soloist or allow effortless allow the entire piece to be witnessed as one united front. In “Jeff’s Place,” percussionist Kenneth Nash gives faint but well-matched highlights to the lower shading of the strings, especially as the bass slowly voices the plucks in contrast to the higher scampering of the violin.

Voices is a welcome respite from the frequent overflow of tin-filled brass jazz accompanied by endless and demanding percussion. Michael White has gathered here gorgeous pieces that viewers can enjoy as a warm backdrop through its modest voicing or as an intricate study of the more difficult negotiations of classical recordings.

Label: Izniz

 

Jonathan Mason