Concentric Circles is the fifth album by Denson and after the last three where he explored freely improvised music, a unique take on gospels and hymns, and a tribute to the music of Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, he has returned to exploring his original compositions in the same vein as his initial recording, Secret World.
Denson’s music pushes through the boundaries of conventions in music. By inventively mixing the world of composed and improvised music, Jeff Denson creates a unique language of his own, where intoxicating melodies and rhythms transport the listener away to unknown lands where vivid hues of tone paint the aural canvas of the inner ear.
The music is steeped in the jazz tradition, where the propulsive rhythms are the heartbeat of the music and the musicians are master improvisers of harmonic structures, song forms, and melodic invention. Where the music diverges from the jazz tradition and creates its unique fingerprint is in the handling of the juxtaposition of the composed and improvised material, the roles and uses of the instruments within the compositions, unique instrumentation itself, its musical forms and the unmistakably memorable melodic language of Jeff Denson. The strength of the melodies transcend genre or idiomatic leanings and plant themselves in the ears of the listeners, leaving them singing them long after the music has stopped.
The title Concentric Circles represents the concept of Jeff’s latest album to be released on Ridgeway Records June 10, 2016. The concept of nested circles around a common center is represented by the fact that Jeff put this quartet together by bringing together the members of his two separate trios: the Jeff Denson Trio with Dan Zemelman and Alan Hall (whom toured recently in Europe and the US with jazz legend, Lee Konitz in support of Denson’s last recording, Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz) and Electreo with bassoonist, Paul Hanson and Hall again on drums. The concept of the concentric circles is represented in the intricate nature of the counterpoint between the instruments in the compositions, which as Denson says, “function like the inner workings of a Swiss watch”.
Jeff Denson Quartet includes:
Paul Hanson, Bassoon
Dan Zemelman, piano
Alan Hall, drums
Jeff Denson, double bass, vocals & compositions