Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms – Spacer
2011 – Delmark Records
The vibraphone is front and center in this record, which as you can imagine, I love. Jason Adasiewicz is one of my favorite vibraphonists of all time and he shines with his playing, improvisation, and composition on this recording. His trio features Nate McBride and Mike Reed, who both are master players that really lock into each song. This group gels together in a way that is rare, they anticipate and react to each other almost telepathically. The notes on the back say that they shaped the material through a month-long residency at a Chicago bar. Let’s start by commenting how amazing it is to have a musical residency these days, and continue with stating that this time was obviously put to good use. The songs are concise in terms of containing only what is needed (only notes and hits that elevate the music), but vast in their musical statements and virtuosity (the trio sounds like a larger band throughout the recording). Jason coaxes so many voices out of the vibraphone, he plays lyrically, angularly, with rolling chords, hits with mallet shafts, long tones, short tones….pretty much anything you could think of. The best part is that he utilizes all these techniques in necessity of the larger musical picture, he isn’t doing anything because of showmanship, it all serves the music. The compositions on this album are fantastic as well. They feature space almost as another instrument. The vibraphone is allowed to ring out. It is interesting to hear a trio in this setting (bass, drums, and vibraphone) because it is not the norm. There is usually a saxophone or guitar added into the mix. This album, to me, is a great example of a creative and supremely talented band showing their skills. I love Jason’s playing and his compositions. This has given me a few ideas of things to test out in my own playing and writing. That is the sign of a good recording, if it can inspire you to work on your craft. I highly recommend checking out any of the Sun Rooms recordings, they are all fantastic.