Jeff Younger’s Sandbox
…game pieces, graphic scores and blends of free improv/written material written by yours truly, with a no-holds-barred spirit and kickass attitude. Good times. Good times, indeed.
Jeff Younger, leader of the Sandbox – 2009
The astounding Vancouver guitarist/composer/electronic weirdo Jeff Younger leads this ensemble that boasts amazing interplay between some of the city’s finest musical improvisers. In April 2009 the Sandbox released their début CD The Nudger on the NOW Orchestra Records label.
Jeff Younger – Electric Guitar, Electronics
Dave Chokroun – Bass
Kristian Naso – Trumpet
Ben Wilson – Drums
Darren Williams – Tenor Saxophone
Kristian Naso – Trumpet
The Nudger reviewed in Point of Departure:
Jeff Younger’s Sandbox is a fairly standard quintet configuration, trumpet, tenor, bass and drums, plus the leader’s guitar and electronics, and on The Nudger the band creates an intriguing middle-ground between free jazz and improvised music, moving through rapidly changing events in which the musicians seem likely to genuinely surprise one another. Younger is a minimalist both as a guitarist and a composer, emphasizing subtle electronic undersounds and evasive notes that seem to arise with the turn of a volume knob. Drawn from two performances at the Cellar, the band sometimes seems suspended between the slowness of soundscape and the slowness of dirge, the former the province of Younger and bassist Dave Chokroun, the latter (with sources in Albert Ayler) coming from the drums of Ben Wilson and the horns of trumpeter Kristian Naso and the tenor player Darren Williams, a raw, vocal explorer with an almost braying sound who is the real discovery among these CDs.
Stuart Broomer (Point Of Departure) – June 2009
Canada’s music improvising community has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, and Vancouver remains a place where artists thrive and create great music. This release by a relatively young band (in the world of improvised music) showcases the compositions of guitarist Younger and the ensemble playing of Dave Chokroun (bass), Kristian Naso (trumpet), Darren Williams (tenor) and Ben Wilson (drums). The music is vital, varied and consistently well executed. The ensemble play each composition with close attention to the elements provided and improvise with imagination and cohesion. Tunes like “Silt” sustain quiet moods without a drop in energy, while the free improv of “Rug Stain Saint” showcases an exuberance and high level of communication that speaks well of the commitment of each musician to the music. It should also be noted that this work is part of a great five-CD release of music from Vancouver focused by Now Orchestra. Check it out!
Nilan Perera (Exclaim Magazine) – July 2009