Sebastian Noelle, guitar; Marc Mommaas, tenor sax; Matt Mitchell, piano; Matt Clohesy, bass; Dan Weiss, drums
Guitarist-composer Sebastian Noelle has spent much of his life traveling the elusive path between two worlds. In life, he travels back and forth between his native Germany and his adopted home of New York City; in his art, he navigates the more fluid boundaries between the abstract and the emotional. Throughout that nomadic existence, music has provided a constant source of shelter, an idea that unifies the wide-ranging music on Noelle’s third CD On Shelter, Noelle leads a stellar quintet that brings together some of the most forward-thinking and limitless musicians in modern jazz: saxophonist Marc Mommaas (Amina Figarova, Armen Donelian), pianist Matt Mitchell (Dave Douglas, Tim Berne), bassist Matt Clohesy (Seamus Blake, Darcy James Argue, Donny McCaslin), and drummer Dan Weiss (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dave Binney).
Noelle’s own impressive credentials since arriving in New York in 2002 include more than a decade with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop Orchestra, the Chris Potter Big Band, the Aaron Irwin Quintet, and the New York Jazzharmonic.
The compositions on Shelter spotlight Noelle’s far-reaching interests, bringing together disparate musical influences, inspiration from documentary film and German literature, and his studies of North Indian rhythms. The album’s ten compositions also manage the tricky feat of melding ambitious complexity with emotional communication.
“A guitarist probably best known for his integral role in Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Mr. Noelle has a rewarding new album, “Shelter,” that showcases his embrace of both lyrical intricacies and rockish swagger” – Nate Chinen (New York Times)