Saturday, June 30, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Lapse and Guitars

Andrew Drury: A Momentary Lapse. 2003. Innova: 581.

Andrew Drury: composer, drums
Eyvind Kang: violin
Briggan Krauss: alto saxophone, clarbone
Chris Speed: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Myra Melford: piano
Mark Dresser: bass

Here is an all-star lineup that includes so many of my favorite improvisers. Andrew Drury wisely gives generous space for each within these tight compositions. The result is a disc that has been sticking to my ears over the past four years that still reveals intoxicating details with each listening. This time through I'm struck by the textural range. "The Schwartzes" opens things up with a groove-heavy sound with the inspired combination of Krauss's wailing alto saxophone over the top of Melford's driving improvisation on the piano. Then "Salal" follows with its open, delicate sound in a relatively pulse-free space. Seven other tracks follow that trace a wide path through many traditions and this lineup hits the target at each destination along the way.

Bill Frisell/Dave Holland/Elvin Jones: Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones. 2001. Nonesuch: 79624-2.

Bill Frisell: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, loops
Dave Holland: bass
Elvin jones: drums

One is tempted to envy Frisell for his chops and the great players he's teamed up with over the years. And this is one great trio that puts a solid spin on the Bill Frisell songbook (plus a great read on Henry Mancini's "Moon River" and "Hard Times" by Stephen Foster). For anyone familiar with earlier (or later) takes on these pieces this disc is a genuine pleasure and one that gets a regular spin in the HurdAudio rotation.

Derek Bailey/Cyro Baptista: Derek. 2006. Amulet Records: AMT 023.

Derek Bailey: guitar
Cyro Baptista: percussion, voice

This is free improvisation of the "compare and contrast" variety as the focus of creative energy between these players highlights the differences and commonalities found between them. Baptista's voice, percussion and digital delay give him a vast timbral arsenal that he forms into an impressively cohesive and responsive sound. The "vastness" of Bailey's material emerges less from the timbral range and more from the unpredictable sequence of ideas that makes up his own sonic fingerprint. Between these two players is an oscillation of reinforcement and subversion of the sonic texture from moment to moment. One of the things that makes this listening experience so engaging is even handed treatment of steady states and jagged transitions.

No comments: