"Space Music" is a term of endearment I once heard Sun Ra refer to his own music. Meaning i.e. 'his' music was from 'outer space'. It was endless and timeless like the vastness of the unknown. Esoteric as that might sound to the average or casual listener the music of avatars like Sun Ra was 'heavy', ethereal almost beyond earthly comprehension.
Despite his other worldliness Sun Ra left a grand legacy and a legion of acolytes. While it would be something of a 'stretch' to call vibist Jason Adasiewicz a Sun Ra acolyte directly it wouldn't be out of the question that his music certainly bares a stark resonance and resemblance to the bygone space man.
A new offering, Sun Rooms features the nimble-handed vibist in a spare trio setting of bassist Nate McBride and drummer Mike Reed. Perhaps the most 'out there' recording coming down from above in some time, over the past decade there has been a burgeoning new movement of creative artists from Chicago. All centering around the late Fred Anderson's Velvet lounge, on the southside and on the north side The Hideout, two of the most visible venues for the new music. Vibist Jason Adasiewicz is head and shoulders amongst that loose grouping which includes artists like Keefe Jackson, Dave Rempis, Josh Berman, David Boykin and others.
Another interesting note is that just this past year there has been an noticeable upswing in recognition of vibists signaled by the death of iconic vibist Carl Leukaufe, who died at age 76 just this past August. Chicago has had a vibes renaissaince so to speak in mainstays Kathey Kelly and Jim Cooper and in recent months surfacing are Tony Normand, Andre Earls and new comer Preyas Roy.
But in Jason Adasiewicz we have a visionary vibist. Hence the title Sun Rooms, certainly apropos because each tune on this new Delmark release brings bright moments of shining mystery and vivid wonder. The trio moves and breaths as one organic whole. Reaching back we've already alluded to Sun Ra but what about the arid blue tinge of vibist Walt Dickerson, a man who never got his media due. Adasiewicz solid strokes mirror Dickerson to be sure. None-theless the young Chicagoan like Dickerson is a harmonic forager of sound, color and rhythm. It is not surprising that Dickerson and Sun Ra did meet in the recording studio 40 years ago. So this recording eerily haunts the melodic membranes. Monkish, yes! But more Herbie Nichols-ish. Bassist McBride moves and pulses underneath not so much as a bedrock but as a blood-flow, life giver to the music. He knows Jason's shifty moves and scales all too well. And Reed is the jackknife dancer on drums, pithy and sharp. Reed can tip toe and jump, even stomp! That's the way a drummer should be. Their peak comes by way of the odd metered 'Off My Back Jack', an unearthed tune from the unrecognized Philly pianist Hassan Ali. But there are more delights herein. Each tune is filled with the sun's warmth.
Jason Adasiewicz,vibraphone; Nate McBride, bass; Mike Reed, drums.
1.Get in There 2.Life 3.Stroke 4.Rose Garden 5.You Can't 6. Off My Back Jack 7.Overtones of China 8. Warm Valley
Jason's CD Release party is happening Wednesday October 6 at the Hideout.