An obscure name at least to me hitherto – where have I been this last decade? – Sebastien Ammann’s Color Wheel (Skirl) is released on 3 February.
This Swiss-born, New York-based pianist’s album features his quartet of alto-saxophonist Michaël Attias (who has played with Anthony Braxton, the much missed Paul Motian and Oliver Lake), bassist Noah Garabedian (yep more choice avant agenda-setting names on the global stage... Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi) and drummer Nathan Ellmann-Bell (in past action with the classical/jazz iconoclast Uri Caine, and the great Dave Douglas).
Have a look at the Ammann discography for an overview, fact fans. The pianist’s studio albums go back more than a decade. As I type I am listening to some of his improvising on Samadhi. Gigging around New York this month I see he is playing with Samuel Blaser soon, the talented trombonist, a Grachan Moncur III in spirit.
On the album it is the quartet in action, join with me in all curiosity by listening, above to ‘On A Move,’ Skirl link. Oh how to describe the sound? Well, a few pointers: Ammann reminds me slightly of Wolfert Brederode. And the altoist digs in like Antonin Tri Hoang while bass and drums knit like Dezron Douglas and Johnathan Blake might. So overall it is avant spiky free bop flavoured by the New Cool containing a pleasantly plangent sourness that the born to run jaggedness from piano and sax offset so effectively and ease into consummate fluency. SG