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.
Ratatet sprang out of a collective trio, formed in 2014 named Electreo, which consists of of Alan Hall, Jeff Denson and Paul Hanson. In the process of writing music for Electreo, Alan’s desire to write for a larger ensemble grew, and once all the personnel pieces fell into place, the Ratatet was formed. The members of Ratatet include Paul Hanson on bassoon and tenor saxophone, John Gove on trombone, Dillon Vado on vibraphone, Greg Sankovich on organ, acoustic and electric piano, Jeff Denson on acoustic bass, fretted & fretless electric bass, vocals and leader, arranger/composer and drummer Alan Hall.
The members of Ratatet have played and/or recorded with an assortment of great musicians, groups and organizations, including Geoffrey Keezer, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Art Lande, Minsarah, Paul McCandless, Lee Konitz, Cirque Du Soleil, Kenny Werner, Kai Eckhardt, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi.
The adventuresome spirit exemplified by the band’s novel instrumentation is also reflected in leader Alan Hall’s cliché-free and melody-rich compositions on Arctic, the outfit’s genre-dissolving debut recording. Incorporating prime elements of jazz (from mainstream to fusion), funk, rock, South American idioms and classical music, Ratatet categorically rejects rigid categorization. This co-existence of extremes is evidenced in the range of material, emotive nature, and vibe of the music, composed by drummer and band-leader Alan Hall. The title and music on Arctic embodies a sense of wide expanse, adventure, loss and new discovery. Utilizing the unique sonic nature of bassoon, trombone and vibes with the classic jazz trio back line of piano, bass and drums, new ground is broken. Stellar soloists Paul Hanson and John Gove set the tunes ablaze while Vado, Sankovich, Denson and Hall keep things roiling underneath.
After largely focusing on standards for the last decade, the Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz take a fresh look at some of the Music of the “Lennie Tristano School” (compositions by Tristano, Konitz, Marsh and Bauer)
Jeff takes an unusual approach doubling the complex themes of the Tristano School and interweaving the solo lines like the historic duo of Konitz and Marsh.