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Tiemann-Belzer: Crypto

Tiemann-Belzer: Crypto

More info on local act


Tiemann-Belzer plays An die Musik July 2. For more information, visit

By Bret McCabe | Posted 6/30/2004

Avec drummer Scott Tiemann teams up with local saxophonist Matt Belzer for six engaging duos of percolating jazz on this CD EP. Don’t expect Interstellar Space cosmic; Crypto is a more intimate, close-listening affair, airy and spry rather than overwhelming. Not that this duo can’t explode: The title track starts off with Tiemann marking snappy time to Belzer’s darting alto phrases, the pair spreading out its sound, but about halfway through Tiemann hammers out a pounding transition that leads Belzer into honking and squealing valve sprints. That track is a Belzer original, and it’s just the tip of his compositional touch. A peppery percussion spine holds “We’re All Gonna Die Now” afloat as Belzer darts in and out (and up and down the register) of Tiemann's steady-pulse ricochets. Belzer’s swaying lines float through “Dead Monkey” as Tiemann skips through an elusive and spry meter. Throw in two playful versions of Thelonious Monk’s notoriously horn-resistant works—“Criss Cross” and “Evidence,” in arrangements that owe no small measure to another reeds-playing Monk fan, the late Steve Lacy—and a tastefully mellow interpretation of a Japanese folk tune, and Crypto becomes a delightful snapshot of a duo that should prove quite inspired live.

E-mail Bret McCabe

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