Michael Bates :: Downbeat Review

Cheers to Peter Margasak for the kind words on Michael’s record.

Michael Bates, Clockwise

It’s fitting that the title of the third album by bassist Michael Bates, a Canadian now based in New York, refers to motion since the music created by his quartet, Outside Sources, never stops moving, often in several simultaneous directions. The leader’s compositions are spiky and rigorous, packed with jagged melodic counterpoint, brash tempo shifts and deep, craggy grooves.

It’s not only the instrumentation that borrows from the classic Ornette Coleman QUartet, with the loosey-goosey interaction, yet the tunes themselves are miles away. By packing in so many quick-changing ideas, Bates risks composing pieces that arrive as schematic exercises–a flashy display of prog daring-do with no hear. Luckily, his excellent band not only brings the pieces to life, but also makes them sound natural and touched with unlikely grace.

Read more at downbeat.com in the March issue.