Nortonk – Nortonk (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:35 minutes | 609 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Biophilia Records
Formed in 2017, Nortonk is a heated avant-garde quartet composed of young players: Gideon Forbes on alto saxophone, Thomas Killackey on trumpet, Stephen Pale on bass and Steven Crammer on drums. All four members brought compositions for this first record and the group’s name is a nod of gratitude to drummer Kevin Norton, their former teacher at the William Paterson University in New Jersey.
Advocating dynamic interplay over stalwart rhythmic underpins, the unit provides precise synchronism and fierce melodic impulsivity on the lead-off track, “Chutes and Ladders”. Working over the obliquely broken rhythms of Pale and Crammer, Forbes has the word here, being joined by Killackey at a later time for an animated conclusion.
Like the previous piece, it was Forbes who penned “Spiders”, where the tension is treated in a different manner. Sax and trumpet echo long notes that soar above an interlaced net that pulsates with magnetic bass work and suitable brushwork. This more relaxed type of setting also befits Pale’s “Herzog”, in which the group embraces a mournful solemnity within poetic tonal registers.
Conversely, Killackey’s “Duuzh” and Crammer’s “GLaDOS” are marked by a considerable urgency in their explorative paths. But whereas the former swings categorically and unabashedly, the latter is lavishly motivic, keeping the momentum flowing with rhythmic accentuations and elastic solos by the horn players.
1. Nortonk – Chutes and Ladders
2. Nortonk – Spiders
3. Nortonk – Duuzh
4. Nortonk – GLaDOS
5. Nortonk – Quat
6. Nortonk – Herzog