Justin Morell | Dectet: Subjects and Complements

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Classical: Chamber Music Moods: Instrumental
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Dectet: Subjects and Complements

by Justin Morell

Subjects and Complements features twelve original works that follow in the jazz idiom but are compositionally steeped in classical forms.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Noun Ember
10:48 album only
2. Fugue in B, In Three Voices
3:01 album only
3. The Wobbler
5:54 album only
4. O
4:32 album only
5. Fugue in B-Flat, In Three Voices
4:37 album only
6. Fugue in E-Flat, In Three Voices
5:23 album only
7. The Straight Man
7:13 album only
8. Fugue in E, In Four Voices
4:14 album only
9. Sun Subtle
7:42 album only
10. Fugue in C, In Three Voices
3:28 album only
11. Lorac
7:30 album only
12. Sang
3:42 album only


Album Notes
Subjects and Complements is the seventh CD by guitarist and composer Justin Morell. The recording features twelve original works that follow in the jazz idiom but are compositionally steeped in classical forms. This collection of new pieces represents the culmination of several years of compositional exploration and development in Morell's music.

The first track, “Noun Ember”, and the last, “Sang”, are the most traditional of the set. The bulk of the project is much more structurally experimental, most notably in the five fugues. The tracks “Sun Subtle”, “LORAC”, and “O” tilt more into the pop music world, while “The Straight Man” is a combination of swing tradition, concerted ensemble playing, and chamber music. Each piece features masterful improvisation by some of the most unique voices in jazz.

The ensemble features a collection of world-class and well-known jazz musicians from New York, Los Angeles, and Portland (Oregon). Saxophonist Bob Sheppard (of Steely Dan, Chick Corea, Billy Childs) plays alto and soprano saxophones, and is featured on various selections. Several of the tracks include extended improvisations by Kneebody saxophonist (and bassoonist) Ben Wendel. The lyrical and introspective tenor saxophonist Matt Otto joins the band for about half the CD's twelve selections, sometimes replacing Wendel and sometimes joining him in the section. The woodwinds are filled out with bass clarinetist Phil O'Connor (Los Angeles Philharmonic, California E.A.R. Unit), who is also featured on soprano saxophone on “LORAC”.

Trumpeter John Daversa, who leads a successful big band in Los Angeles and has recorded with the Yellowjackets, Fiona Apple, and Joe Cocker among many others, has been a part of Morell's various groups for over two decades. Daversa’s trumpet sits atop a brass section with the rather unusual addition of two trombones to an already low-sounding group of instruments. Renowned New York performer and composer Alan Ferber plays tenor trombone, and is a featured soloist on several tracks. From the opposite coast is the exquisite bass trombonist George Thatcher, whose rich and endlessly colorful orchestral sound palette rounds out the bottom voice of the horns.

The rhythm section is built around drummer Mark Ferber, who throughout complex textures and meters often plays a contrapuntal role on a par with the rest of the ensemble. Joining Ferber is virtuoso bassist Damian Erskine (Gino Vanelli, Vardan Ovsepian), who plays an extended solo on “The Wobbler”—and whose deep, solid groove guides the band. Lastly, pianist Leonard Thompson provides the subtle underlying color, harmony, and atmosphere. Thompson is featured on the second track, “Fugue in B”, which is largely a composed solo piano work; and it is Thompson who is often heard alone in several sparse textures throughout the CD.



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