Sunday, July 15, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Another Return into the Circular Temple of Esteem

Forbes Graham: Another Return. 2007. CD-R available from the composer.

Forbes Graham: trumpet, laptop computer

With the assistance of amplification and digital manipulation, hearing the trumpet in this sound is like scanning the horizon with a microscope. There are plenty of nice pauses and silences contained within these five compositions. "You're Here with Us Now" in particular has an interesting quality as the sound has a hard threshold so that past a particular amplitude it simply falls into an abrupt silence for the perceived duration of the gesture that crossed that threshold. There's a beautifully austere quality to this music as the active ear adjusts its focus upon it.

Matthew Shipp Trio: Circular Temple. 1990. Infinite Zero Archive: 9 14506-2.

Matthew Shipp: piano
William Parker: bass
Whit Dickey: drums

Circular Temple is Matthew Shipp at his most intense, and prolonged mode as these four tracks make up four movements for a singular compositional expression. And this has many of the qualities of an epic piano solo as Parker and Dickey seem to fuse into the same focus that Shipp brings to this outing. The synthesis of jazz history at work in this music is compelling as one can hear elements of bop and Cecil Taylor at work behind the concentrated intensity.

Steve Lacy Quintet: Esteem. 1975 (released in 2006). Atavistic: ALP260CD.

Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone
Steve Potts: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Irene Aebi: cello, violin
Kent Carter: bass
Kenneth Tyler: percussion

The source material for this set comes from a cassette recording from Steve Lacy's personal archive of a show recorded at La Cour des Miracles, Paris, France on February 26, 1975. And the production quality reflects the limitations of the source media. So it's a testament to the quality of these compositions and the outstanding treatment these improvisers bring to them that overcomes - and even allows one to forget - the limited frequency range captured from this session. "The Uh Uh Uh" grooves incredibly hard and provides an unbelievable vehicle for solos from Lacy and Potts. There's a satisfying element of funk running through this rhythm section balancing out Lacy's rapid-fire sheets of sound.

No comments: