Canadian bassist and composer Michael Bates has released A Fine Balance in which he blends jazz with classical moods. Visiting styles and going up into the experimental waters, the band marshals in voluble cadences, all nested in the core of what’s jazz: a melting craft experience.
The overall flow as well as the sound quality of Bates’ art is excellent. Audiences will exult in an across-the-board breed of styles and instrumentations to deliver a listening experience with an enjoyable flow. Every track is top bench; arrangements are bright with tons of surprises abiding us to chance upon.
Acute reedist Nachoff plays beyond all borders exploring awesome improvs. Mark Timmermans’ beat is warm, precise and evolved, with interesting twists and turns. Kevin Turcotte explodes dashed metal attacks plotted upon lithesome junctures and coloured sound-shaping aesthetics. Bates really cooked up here powerful material which inspires and enlightens each band member’s scope.
The sixth piece "Prokofiev", is a Bates composition inspired from Russian composer Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata in C major. His baffling arco expresses a myriad of harmonious stories through the unison bass/trumpet scripts. Nachoff’s colourful punctuations promenades onward to Bates’ bass adding intense emotions from Turcotte’s musings. That said, A Fine Balance is a mindful representation of Bates’ bent.
Perhaps Bates’ best example in the compositional mode is "The Prodigal", a delectable piece de resistance for this quintet’s interaction. Michael Bates, Quinsin Nachoff, Kevin Turcotte and Mark Timmermans hatch up boundaries of sonorous ability which in exchange fully encircle our chock-full support... Michael Bates’ A Fine Balance is a praiseworthy investigative jazz creation coupled with acute melodies.