Thomas Helton ‘Experimentations In Minimalism’

Self released CD-R, 2006.

01 Selfish Shellfish (6:20)
02 Pious (Clarinet) (1:37)
03 Experimentations In Minimalism I (7:53)
04 Experimentations In Minimalism II (3:15)
05 Experimentations In Minimalism III (4:30)
06 Pious (Trombone) (1:01)
07 FU&THYRIO (9:01)
08 Pious (Trumpet) (0:52)
Total time: 34:35

Thomas Helton: double bass
Karl Fulbright: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Seth Paynter: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Martin Langford: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Josh Levy: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone
Carol Morgan: trumpet
Brad Clymer: trumpet
Brian Allen: trombone
Thomas Hulten: trombone

Thomas Helton is a bass player from Houston, Texas, performing with the local scene of jazzmen and improvisers. He composes for multimedia projects and dance companies as well. Though having a rather classical pedigree as a sideman, his first 2 CDs are mostly ‘improvised compositions’ – for bass solo on his first 2003 ‘Doublebass’ CD, and for bass and wind ensemble on ‘Experimentations…’. The compositions on the latter are a joy to listen to, even for adventurous ears. Some of the tracks (Pious for Clarinet and Pious for Trumpet) have a classical music feeling, almost like a wind ensemble composition from Brahms or Hindemith. This is modern jazz, the musicians merely improvise on short themes provided by Helton. There are many guests on this CD but the music is kept focused and great care is given to ensemble playing. The sound of the wind instruments (various saxes, clarinets, trumpet and trombone) is warm and pleasing to the ears. See detailed review here. The cover is from a painting by the composer.


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