Between the Liquid and Solid
By: Ben Ratliff
There's a new jazz group called the Spring Quartet, and that's spring as in the season's muddy, generative part, not the pale and pretty part.
It's polygenerational: the drummer and composer Jack DeJohnette, at 71, and the saxophonist Joe Lovano, at 61, are each about twice the age of the pianist Leo Genovese and bassist-singer Esperanza Spalding. At Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater on Friday night, the music - with writing credits spread among the group's members - was both composed and open ended, full of smoky tones and sustain-pedal sonorities and cymbal splashes and mild dissonance, intentional or encouraged. The musicians weren't scoring points on aggression. The performance was earthy, woolly, na´ve in a way that only the very experienced can manage. It was also a pleasure to hear that kind of music on this stage, where one normally hears jazz with clean lines and historical focus.
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