Monday, January 07, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Be Time, Be Bread, Be Bugs

Chris Mosley Trio: The Miraculous Aspect of Time. 2006. Red Button Records: RBR-101.

Chris Mosley: guitar, fretless guitar, 36-tone guitar
Damian Erskine: electric bass
Drew Shoals: drums

The Miraculous Aspect of Time documents three creative sides of Chris Mosley, each represented by the guitar employed for a given track. The short "Interlude I" and "Interlude II" pieces are solo guitar works featuring the 36-tone guitar and the sophisticated harmonic ear of Chris Mosley. I could drink in a full-length CD of music like this and the brevity of these pieces leaves me speculating what sounds might come if Mosley stretched out within this harmonic framework. The straight guitar trio compositions make up the bulk of this collection and the level of polish, compositional chops and the outstanding rhythm section of Erskine and Shoals make this one well worth repeated spins. Bridging the musical territory between the 36-tone solo pieces and the straight trio music are the two tracks for trio featuring the fretless guitar. Here we find a glimpse of Mosley's harmonic sensibilities combined with the formal development and group interplay that make this Portland, Oregon guitarist one to watch.

Myra Melford/Be Bread: The Image of Your Body. 2006. Cryptogramophone: CG 131.

Myra Melford: piano, harmonium
Brandon Ross: electric guitar, banjo, voice
Cuong Vu: trumpet
Stomu Takeishi: electric bass, acoustic bass guitar, electronics
Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums

The Be Bread performances of the familiar Melford compositions of "Equal Grace" and "Yellow Are Crowds of Flowers, ii" provides a glimpse into the possibilities of the ever expanding Myra Melford oeuvre. The elastic electric bass sound of Stomu Takeishi reprises the natural chemistry with Melford's piano and harmonium playing found on previous collaborations while the addition of Elliot Humberto Kavee's light touch on the drums fills out an outstanding rhythm section. Brandon Ross and Cuong Vu take turns filling out the quartet sound from track to track as each leaves a strong impression with their respective individualized sound. The soaring textures of Vu's trumpet playing in particular carve out an interesting space that weaves effortlessly through the ensemble sound.

Katt Hernandez/Evan Lipson: Hisswig. 2007. Limited run mini-disc.

Katt Hernandez: violin, voice
Evan Lipson: bass

A twenty minute dose of two compelling improvisers I've had the pleasure of seeing multiple times over the past year. The interplay between the high and low registers of violin and bass is is complimented by the similarity of approach toward free improvisation shared by these performers. The rough edges of this sound are suggestive of a microscopic universe inhabited by the insects found on the cover. The third track in particular features a patient, deliberate unfolding of ideas that underscores the expansive, rich sonic textures.

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