JAVIER VERCHER FERENC NEMETH NEW ALBUM IMAGINARY REALM RELEASED BY DREAMERS COLLECTIVE RECORDS 2013
JAVIER VERCHER / FERENC NEMETH, with the collaboration of DAVID KIKOSKI:
JAVIER VERCHER AND FERENC NEMETH
Release: fall 2013.
Release by: DREAMERS COLLECTIVE.
Tenor saxophonist Javier Vercher and Drummer Ferenc Nemeth´s music career – and life – can perhaps be summed up by the popular aphorism that, depending on who you´re talking with, was coined by either Confucius in ancient China or movie here in the late 20th century: “Whenever you go, there you are.”
When Vercher released his last solo disc, 2010´s Wish You Were Here, he was calling the hip, bustling environs of Williamsburg, Brooklyn home, though, as the album tittle suggests, his compositions often began their life as postcards from the road.
About 2 years ago Vercher moved out of New York City for a while. He spend 10 years there cutting his own records and discovering new ways of playing. In 2010 Vercher found a place near the center of town in Valencia, where he had been raised. Settling back into the rhythms of his homeland, Vercher says, “I feel focused on the music, taking care of the music, studying sound, having a regular life. I work, opportunities come along. New York is a great city, but I still need to learn in a different way – not only about jazz, but more about other aspects of life and how to insert these concepts into my playing and writing.”
Imaginary Realm, his second collaboration with drummer Ferenc Nemeth, is as aptly titled as Vercher´s previous disc. But this time the journey it describes an internal one – states of mind, not points on a map. It´s emotional and sensual at times. It´s mysterious and spiritual at others, on tracks like the slow-motion meditation of “Prana” (the Sanskrit Word denoting breath) or the brief thumb wooden African box incantation of “Sumerian Magic Spell.” Although the mood is predominantly contemplative, the Groove does heat up on “Giant Henge,” the most site-specific track on the album, as it were. Nemeth´s multilayered percussion provides the foundation fro Vercher´s impassioned solos and guest star David Kikoski´s piano lines match Vercher´s inventiveness and intensity. Vercher and Nemeth took as their starting point the tantalizing mystery of Stonehenge, envisioning some otherworldly force leaving it´s mark on the earth. Beauty emerges from near chaos. Conversely, “Poets of the East” is hushed and hypnotic; Vercher´s playing barely rises above a gorgeous whisper while Nemeth´s percussion evokes the sound of chimes swaying in a gentle breeze. The title track is like an after-hours blues, a spontaneous call-and-response between Vercher on sax and Kikoski on piano, with Nemeth hanging back, brushing a snare. The longest cut on the album, it epitomizes the free playing that has always been at the heart of Vercher´s live and recorded work.
In 2007, the duo of Nemeth and Vercher released their first set together, Wheel of Time. Nemeth, a native Hungarian, had emigrated from Europe almost a decade ago and, like Vercher, he attended Berklee and the settled in Brooklyn. They traveled in the same jazz circles and were likeminded players, kindred spirits, schooled in tradition but eager to experiment.
Nemeth is a sought-after player in multiple genres who released an acclaimed debut album of his own, Night Songs, in 2007. And his more recent one Triumph featuring Kenny Werner, Lionel Loueke and Joshua Redman, released in 2012.
With Imaginary Realm, the pair took a particularly intuitive approach to writing material, often coming up with a title and riffing on it. They´d discover what kind of sound it might evoke, where the words might take them. Pianist David Kikoski had toured in Spain with Verche r and Nemeth, so he was a natural add to the mix. They cut the album in New York City with veteran engineer Michael Brorby behind the boards and the wonderful James Farber mixing the date. Says Vercher, “It´s nice to record together and keep the duo Project alive, to play for the Music, make it the best we can, to share the experiences we´ve encountered. It makes our friendship stronger.”
NOTES BY MICHAEL HILL