Jason Adasiewicz

'In those more or less basic musical realms, Jason Adasiewicz, at age 34, seems to me a young master. But let me mention two other closely related matters — dimensionality and timbre. Adasiewicz, of course, plays the vibraphone, and in the past he has emphasized what anyone can hear: “The vibraphone has become very physical for me. I hit the instrument very hard…. An aluminum bar feels like a brick wall, but you can get spring from the cord that is suspending each bar of the instrument. I’ve felt most comfortable with trying to get those bars to resonate to the point of distortion…. I have never put away the drums 

Thus the force with which one strikes the instrument’s bars becomes a crucial part of the musical mix, not unlike the blow with which a sculptor’s hammer strikes a chisel. In fact with the use of various means — the damper of course and, on the two solo pieces here, the backs of two violin bows — the results Adasiewicz gets can range from the imposingly gong-like to the dry and delicately skittering. 

And timbre? Well, as Adasiewicz said, those forcefully struck bars resonate to a fare-the-well, and, I would say, in a manner that is unique to the mallet percussion family — every note being at once somewhat dissonant (because so many overtones are rubbing against each other) and part of the mallet percussion family’s “rhyming” timbral vocabulary. Here then continual (even seemingly microtonal) gradations of shading can arise — space and shape, dimensionality and timbre, all bedded down and hard at work under the covers.' - Larry Kart 

Featured releases

Our tenth OTOROKU release sees a return to the group that kick-started the label - the veteran German reedsman and free jazz pioneer Peter Broetzmann with the long-running London bass/drums partnership of John Edwards and Steve Noble. After the release of '…The Worse The Better' that group went on to play a series of devastating shows in Europe and to emerge as one of Broetzmann's finest working groups. Over the same period Peter was developing a deep rapport with Jason Adasiewicz, the upstart vibraphone player from Chicago. What seems on paper like an awkward pairing reveals itself on stage and on record as a symbiotic revelation. Adasiewicz's physical attack matching Broetzmann for impact whilst the extended sustain of the vibes opens up an eerie space for some of Broetzmann's most fertile lyricism. The recording is from the last set of a two-day residency at Cafe OTO that brought these two groups together for an astonishing quartet. Adasiewicz and Noble struck up an immense partnership in rhythm. Edwards wrestled with a broken house bass and failing amplifier and still managed new levels of invention - stoking the others onwards. Broetzmann was clearly energised - I swear I saw him dancing at the side of the stage whilst exchanging a shattered reed. And for all the usual rhetoric of Free Jazz bluster and machismo, this is a meeting characterised by the joy of communal creation that makes you want to dance - even if only in your head.

MENTAL SHAKE – Broetzmann / Adasiewicz / Edwards / Noble

Past events