All About Jazz: New York @ Night

by Kurt Gottschalk
Published by All About Jazz / New York
New York, NY, USA

Laura Andel Orchestra at The Kitchen

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff

Laura Andel works in mostly composed pieces for large ensembles and so the opportunities to hear her work are rare. But following notable recordings and performances of her SomnabulisT and In::tension:. over the last few years, her new Doble Mano for nonet was a major statement from the young composer.

The piece for cornet, clarinet, viola, bandoneon, bass, keyboards and two percussionists received its premiere over performances at The Kitchen (May 11th & 12th) and demonstrated the light playfulness of Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota or her fellow Argentinian Astor Piazzolla (all adventurous composers regardless of their populist fields), but with the composer’s own penchant for contrast and relayed statements. Rhythm and counter-rhythm crossed from instrument to instrument, section to section, with a magical business, like choreographed traffic patterns –the title of the 45-minute piece, in fact, refers to a two-way street or multiple directions.

Andel made full use of her orchestra, often setting a low bass clarinet tone or high bandoneon cry alone in their respective registers or putting Taylor Ho Bynum’s muted cornet against clanging finger cymbals. Carl Maguire was particularly inventive on Fender Rhodes and the vibraphone and various Gamelan percussion setups provided a wide array of shadings. When the full ensemble was engaged, the multiple counts and patterns loped like the inner workings of an overly complicated clock.

Source: All About Jazz