Thursday, November 08, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Spinning Streaming in the Age of Streaming

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

MatthewShip: piano
William Parker: bass
Whit Dickey: drums

Intense free jazz improvisation that explodes in bursts. The extreme brevity of the third movement is offset by the epic, rolling duration of the fourth. The Second movement is subtitled "Monk's Nightmare" as the odd melodic angles evoke a clear nod toward Monk's sensibilities and a sense of reverence toward the deep roots this Circular Temple is built upon.

Killick: Smudgeriffic! 2007. Sulponticello: 021 (#9 of a one-time pressing of 33).

Killick: guitar

A 38-minute slice from within the mind and improvisational sensibilities of Killick as the physical properties of the instrument itself are fair game for creative interpretation. The noises of turning effects switches on and off and plugging and unplugging the line input fill the sound field well ahead of plucked and strummed strings with a halting start/stop sound that finally gives way to an energy that seizes upon the ad hoc textures and harmonic constructs as they are discovered. This is an aggressive and quiet music that carves out unusual sonic territory.

Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: Streaming. 2005. Pi Recordings: PI22.

Muhal Richard Abrams: piano, bell, bamboo flute, taxi horn, percussion
George Lewis: trombone, laptop
Roscoe Mitchell: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, percussion

Given the caliber and excellence of past projects spearheaded by each one of these improviser/composers as individuals it's still surprising how outstanding this effort is. This is the kind of sound that keeps me scrambling for new CDs in the age of digital downloads. While George Lewis's trombone playing is (and always has been) a joy to hear and his Shadowgraph compositions are pure genius, I've always been secretly disappointed with Voyager along with his other electronic works. But his laptop work on Streaming surprised me with the rich timbral range and the way it meshes and even interacts with Abrams' piano playing. There's a surprising amount of percussion sound in these textures - even to the point of long stretches without Roscoe's reed work in the sonic picture. The percussion and electronics create vast oceans between the piano/trombone/saxophone configuration. This is a trio effort unlike any other and the aggressive interplay of trombone and piano at the onset of "Dramaturns" makes this one well worth many repeated spins.

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