Reviews that mention Travis Laplante

August 16, 2018

Subtle Degrees

A Dance That Empties
New Amsterdam NWAM 093

Lopez/Nelson/Nicodemou/Cleaver

The Industry of Entropy

Relative Pitch RPR 1063

One of the most refined and flexible percussionists in Jazz, Gerald Cleaver’s rhythmic skills have been put to use alongside everyone from Roscoe Mitchell to Samuel Blaser. On the CDs here, he’s a featured player in two divergent groups including a different tenor saxophonist, who incidentally also one-fourth of the four-saxophone, Battle Trance band. Both discs inhabit the Free Music spectrum. However A Dance That Empties is a no-holds-barred interaction between the drummer and Travis Laplante’s saxophone, while On The Industry of Entropy, is an integrated effort of timed instant group composing featuring the drummer, saxophonist Matt Nelson plus bassist Brandon Lopez and vibraphonist Andria Nicodemou. MORE

December 6, 2014

Battle Trance

Palace of Wind
New Amsterdam NWAM058

Matt Nelson

Lower Bottoms

Tubapede Records TB 03

By Ken Waxman

Picking up on the freedom that’s available as a fellow traveler in raucous indie-rock bands, tenor saxophonist Matt Nelson strives to create comparable abstract amplified sounds for his saxophone. Lower Bottoms, where he hooks up his instrument with guitar effects pedals and amplifier feedback showcases his solo ideas. Palace of Winds, where he performs as part of Travis Laplante’s four tenor saxophone ensemble outlines how his acoustic approach can be integrated into a group creation. MORE

September 1, 2014

Battle Trance

Palace of Wind
New Amsterdam NWAM058

By Ken Waxman

Battle Trance may be a quartet of tenor saxophonists, but banish from your inner ear the smooth reed sounds of The Four Brothers or more experimental foursomes like ROVA. Instead the Brooklyn-based ensemble, which plays at Arraymusic on September 5, specializes in a more difficult type of interaction.

An interconnected three-part composition by leader Travis Laplante, Palace of Wind wasn’t notated, but taught orally to the other players: Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner. Laplante, whose improv experience includes the band Little Women, uses the harmonic conventions of jazz only as a bonding mechanism. Setting up the sequences, unaccented buzzing, tinges of folk melodies and contrasting expositions, singular, unison and with the other saxes’ organ-like chords cocooning the soloist, are put into play at various times. Similarly the narrative moves from gentle, barely audible whispers to crescendos of fortissimo timbres. Utilizing all parts of the woodwind(s), specific passages concentrate on the highest alto-like register of the horns or guttural, baritone-like lowing. But no tone predominates; and there’s always underlying textural bonding. Consistently deconstructing and rebuilding the themes, near pastoral sections are succeeded by ferocious blow-outs with split tones and irregular vibrations cascading every which way. Then just as often, intricate, overlapping unison playing arises. MORE