Alan Ferber - Roots and Transitions (2016) [Official Digital Download]

Posted By: HDV
Alan Ferber - Roots and Transitions (2016) [Official Digital Download]

Alan Ferber - Roots & Transitions (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time - 57:24 minutes | 673 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

The first thing that ought to be said about trombonist/composer/bandleader Alan Ferber's latest recording, Roots & Transitions, for his long-standing nonet is that the music holds up very well regardless of whether one knows the circumstances that surrounded its creation…

However, this release marks an important milestone in Ferber's life—the birth of his first child in 2013. Now, Ferber is not the first husband to find his entire attitude toward life completely change with the arrival of a child. But this very special happening was followed by the 2014 Grammy Nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for March Sublime, and then, to top it off, Ferber got a grant from Chamber Music America to create a 60-minute original piece.

Furthermore, Ferber made the decision to write using the trombone instead of the piano in order to save time in the long run. The result of using the single-line instrument was to create simpler and more personal ideas that would become the kernels out of which the pieces would develop.

The notes mention a central melodic motif that is the seed from which the entire piece grows, but this is admittedly hard to hear. However, it is easy to hear that the pieces are related to each other (somehow) and belong together. The music has a personal sound to it in that it was written by Ferber for the specific members of the nonet and displays his command of the sonorities available for this instrumentation; more than this though, is that in some ineffable way, the music tells the story of Ferber's joy and wonderment which is mixed inevitably with anxiety that comes with change.

The set of pieces, which vary widely in mood, opens with "Quiet Confidence," which is a very apt title, as beautiful sonorities proclaim the sprawling theme leading to a very tasteful solo by pianist Bryn Roberts accompanied by big cymbal splashes from drummer Mark Ferber. The third track, "Clocks" raises the temperature, featuring an insistent piano chord that gradually thickens and gets more and more ominous; Jon Gordon's terrific solo which is perfectly consonant with this rather unsettling piece.

The following track, "Wayfarer" could not be more different in that it has traditional structure and harmony along with an easy, very cool swing. "Flow" is next, and sits somewhere between the previous two tracks in intensity and mood. "Echo Calling" (one of two shorter tracks, along with "Hourglass"), is the modern ballad of the recording, with a very pretty melody which is surrounded by lush harmonies. The closing track, "Cycles," builds in energy, starting with trumpet, sax and drums, then adding piano and guitar, until finally the entire band is playing the theme in various combinations with vigor and panache.

Roots & Transitions is terrific music in its own right, putting Ferber's creativity and expertise on display. There are many details of structure, harmony and voicing and as many fine individual performances to savor. Outstanding.


01 - Quiet Confidence
02 - Hourglass
03 - Clocks
04 - Wayfarer
05 - Flow
06 - Perspective
07 - Echo Calling
08 - Cycles

Alan Ferber - trombone
Scott Wendholt - trumpet on "1,2,4-7"
Shane Endsley - trumpet on "3,6,8"
Jon Gordon - alto saxophone
John Ellis - tenor saxophone
Charles Pillow - bass clarinet
Nate Radley - guitar
Bryn Roberts - piano
Matt Clohesy - bass
Mark Ferber - drums

Analyzed: Alan Ferber / Roots & Transitions

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR9 -0.30 dB -12.01 dB 8:02 01-Quiet Confidence
DR11 -2.84 dB -17.85 dB 1:03 02-Hourglass
DR9 -0.30 dB -11.72 dB 9:50 03-Clocks
DR10 -0.34 dB -12.80 dB 7:39 04-Wayfarer
DR9 -0.30 dB -12.26 dB 9:20 05-Flow
DR10 -0.40 dB -13.86 dB 8:26 06-Perspective
DR9 -1.36 dB -15.20 dB 3:11 07-Echo Calling
DR9 -0.30 dB -12.35 dB 9:54 08-Cycles

Number of tracks: 8
Official DR value: DR9

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 1530 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Thanks to the Original customer!