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Noertkers Moxie: Tricycle I - Amor Fati

Bay area avant-garde chamber jazzer Bill Noertker has been on the scene since the late ‘80s. He formed Noertker’s Moxie in 2001 and has released fourteen CDs since, including his latest titled Tricycle, a three volume series beginning with Amor Fati.

Although not an ‘easy’ listen there is lots to like and admirer about this group of musicians. First of all the playing and creativity is superb, the chemistry between these players is a thing of beauty. Second, these musicians welcome the challenge of creating something outside the box of conventional jazz, Noertker is a true visionary in that regard. And third, many of these tracks make a lasting impression, never a bad thing in my book.

The disc opens with “Hour of the Traces”, a slow moving piece laced with stark piano lines, subtle flute, alto sax and a completely creative rhythm section. At times the music sounds distant, before revealing itself in the foreground. Maybe the throbbing bass or the unfettered drum solo will leave its mark, or perhaps just the stark, slow evolving musical soundscape will weave its magic. On “Do You Know My Aunt Eliza?” the jaunty and playful instrumentation is quite breathtaking, in a chaotic sort of way while “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” features excellent sax from Annelise Zamula (alto) and Joshua Marshall (tenor). This piece is very much rooted in the chamber tradition. The bass and drum groove and awesome sax solo in “Holiday Princess of 1946” and the bouncy melodies in the beginning and end of “Our Beloved Heath” make for more choice cuts. At times the music does get a bit too abstract for me, “Cage 1-6” being an example but still I very much dig what this band is trying to accomplish.

Amor Fati is one of those jazz albums that might take a while to fully absorb but rest assured it will be time well spent. Recommended for those who appreciate the more avant chamber side of jazz.

An Edgetone Records release.

Track Listing:
1. Hour of the Traces
2. Do You Know My Aunt Eliza?
3. Metamorphosis of Narcissus
4. Holiday Princess of 1946
5. Our Beloved Heath
6. Cage 1-6 (after Richter)
7. F ó g
8. I am an Amateur of Velocipedes

Added: October 18th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 710
Language: english

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