Monday, August 06, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: I Heart Heart Mountain

Marc Ribot: Shoe String Symphonettes. 1997. Tzadik: TZ 7504.

Film scores by Marc Ribot:
Death by Unnatural Causes (1991) - directed by Karen Bellone and Lisa Rinzler
Marc Ribot: guitar, sampler
Greg Cohen: bass
Jill Jaffe: violin, viola

Landlord Blues (1987) - directed by Jacob Burkhardt
Marc Ribot: trumpet, banjo, guitar
Brad Jones: bass
Bill Ware: vibes
Curtis Fowlkes: trombone
Jim Nolet: violin
Roy Nathanson: saxophone
EJ Rodriguez: drums, percussion
Gregory Ribot: flute

Aelita Queen of Mars (1928) - directed by Yakov Protazanov
Marc Ribot: guitar
Paul Clarvis: drums, percussion
Dave Meric: keyboards
Phil Boyden: violin
Helen Thomas: cello
Mike Kearsey: trombone

Pieces From An Incomplete Project (1995 - 1996) - directed by Joe Brewster
Dave Douglas: trumpet
Vicki Bodner: oboe
Charlie Giordano: piano, keyboards
Mauro Refosco: percussion
Jill Jaffe: violin, viola
Maxine Neuman: cello
Tony Garnier: bass

Summer Salt (1993) - directed by Charlie Levi
Marc Ribot: guitar, e-flat horn
John Zorn: saxophone
Andy Haas: saxophone
Cyro Baptista: drums

With the unseen drama, jump cuts, narrative wrinkles and closing credits, these short episodic compositions cut a wide gamut. At times atmospheric before turning into a salsa, surf music or late night bar band. And with Ribot's chops and sensibilities (not to mention guitar playing) behind these works it all comes off as convincing. It's hard to imagine any motion picture worthy of such a soundtrack.

Paul Plimley Trio: Safe-crackers. 1999. Victo: CD066.

Paul Plimley: piano
Lisle Ellis: bass
Scott Amendola: drums

A sound full of rich substance that manages to feel unencumbered by the weight of so much jazz history and technique at work behind it. The improvisational ideas soar and get caught in all kinds of eddies and currents as Plimley takes the lead in an effort that is equal parts free improvisation and whimsy. Titles like "We Got Noh Rhythm" and "After Boulez, a Doorbell with Perfect Pitch" bring a smile every time. The roots of this music run deep. Many disparate elements of jazz tradition are thoroughly absorbed and rendered audible. There are many surprising turns in the melodic and harmonic content. This one is an understated masterpiece.

Myra Melford/Tanya Kalmanovitch: Heart Mountain. 2007. Perspicacity: PR03.

Myra Melford: piano, harmonium
Tanya Kalmanovitch: viola, violin

The creative compatibility of Melford and Kalmanovitch is exquisitely audible in this collection of brief collaborations of wordless poetry. Melford's spare extended technique inside the piano, adding pizzicato piano strings to Kalmanovitch's plucked viola lines, or sculpting tones from scrapes and preparations blends warmly as the sound of these two performers melt together throughout this listening experience. The combination of harmonium with viola makes for a shimmering track. Even as Melford works the ivories, as she does for most of this recording, it's the conversant interplay between these players that casts a spell. This is one to savor.

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