Guitarist/composer Justin Morell’s new album Subjects and Compliments is an experimental exploration of the relationship between the jazz and classical idioms.
Compositionally, Morell reaches into the past with fugue forms on some tracks while also blending in room for solos on others. The ensemble itself fits somewhere between a big band and jazz combo and chamber group with instruments ranging from tenor sax to bassoon to bass clarinet to electric guitar. In other words, this is a cool album.
Holding down the low end is bassist (and No Treble columnist) Damian Erskine, who holds the band together during intricate syncopations as well as single-note ostinatos. Make sure to check out his solo on “The Wobbler,” a mid-tempo tune with an afro drum beat and a slinky melody:
Subjects and Complements Track List:
- Noun Ember
- Fugue in B, in Three Voices
- The Wobbler
- Fugue in B-Flat, in Three Voices
- Fugue in E-Flat, in Five Voices
- The Straight Man
- Fugue in E, in Four Voices
- Sun Subtle
- Fugue in C, in Three Voices