Mark Dresser Seven: Sedimental You

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COMPOSERS: Mark Dresser Seven
LABELS: Clean Feed
ALBUM TITLE: Mark Dresser Seven
WORKS: Sedimental You
PERFORMER: Nicole Mitchell (flutes), Michael Dessen (trombone), Joshua White (piano), Jim Black (drums), Mark Dresser (bass) et al


Although the album title is taken from a track which incorporates a respectful parody of ‘Getting Sentimental Over You’, the term is intended as a kind of pun on Dresser’s technique of layering musical qualities. The compositions are complex constructions making creative use of asymmetry, with unequal phrase lengths and unusual metric patterns, utilising pretty much the whole range of timbres and textures available from handpicked colleagues: brass, reeds, woodwind, strings and percussion. But if this sounds dry, it isn’t.

Most of the pieces are inspired by emotionally powerful events, either by the deaths of cherished friends or by public tragedies such as 9/11 and the mass shootings in Newtown and Charleston. The band members respond equally impressively and movingly to the technical challenges of the material and the emotional elements, skilfully negotiating the structural complexities of the pieces almost as if they were as simple as a 12-bar blues.


Barry Witherden