reviewed by: Kevin
Pendulabellum is a jazz trio from Boston who met as students at the New England Conservatory of Music. The trio consists of Tyson Rogers (Piano), Eric Hofbauer (Guitar) and Jared Sims (Winds). This disc is their first release, but they've been playing around for a few years.
Their music is definitely influenced by the North East improv scene to which they are a part. However, they mostly veer away from the squonk and noise of pure improvisation into a more fluid and approachable sound. At times their music evokes earlier forms of Jazz, such as on the track "Blessing In Disguise" which reminds me somewhat of early Miles Davis. On the tracks lead by Tyson Rogers minimal but emotional piano, they evoke a more post-classical, almost romantic, mood. The whole disc stays on the minimal side of orchestration. The individual parts have a lot of movement, but the instruments don't compete as much as collaborate in a tag-team style. This music can be in the background if you like, but if you choose to pay attention, you will be rewarded for your effort.
This isn't a challenging album, but it is a refreshing break from a lot of the music that the improv community has been releasing over the last few years. It's interesting without being intimidating, minimal without being boring, and light without being cheesy. All and all an excellent addition to any Jazz lovers collection.
Pendulabellum web site
Unit Circle Music