Saturday, January 05, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Child, Ghost and Atomic Clock

David Lang: Child. 2003. Cantaloupe Music: CA21013.

David Lang: composer
Carlo Boccadoro: conductor, piano, brake drum
Paola Fre: flute, piccolo
Mirco Ghirardini: clarinet, bass clarinet
Andrea Rebaudengo: piano
Thomas Schrott: violin, brake drum
Antonello Leofreddi: viola
Marco Decimo: cello, brake drum
Andrea Dulbecco: vibraphone, percussion
Filippo Del Corno: brake drum

Child has a clear ancestral lineage to the music of Louis Andriessen - the Dutch composer the second movement is dedicated to - with many of the same shimmering, rhythmically propulsive qualities and crystalline arrangements that one associates with the European minimalist. With each movement composed for different ensembles in Paris, Milan, Stockholm and Rome the final continuity of this large-scale composition becomes apparent when assembled sequentially on disc. The tranquil yet restless wonderment of human growth from embryo to infant becomes the narrative form of this music as David Lang applies a light, Satie-esque touch to the layers of sound that make up the whole.

Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost [box set] - disc 7. 2004. Revenant Records: RVNT 213.

Don Ayler Sextet - January 11, 1969 @ Town Hall, NYC
Don Ayler: trumpet
Albert Ayler: alto saxophone
Sam Rivers: tenor saxophone
Richard Johnson: piano
Richard Davis: bass
Ibrahim Wahen: bass
Muhammad Ali: drums

Albert Ayler Quartet - speculated to be July 28, 1970 @ La Colle sur Loup, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Albert Ayler: tenor saxophone
Call Cobbs: piano
Steve Tintweiss: bass
Allen Blairman: drums
and probably Mary Parks: tambourine, hand clapping

Disc 7 is the roughest, most challenging material in this box set with audio fidelity and sonic material at its most uneven. The difference between Don Ayler and Albert Ayler as band leader is immediately striking. The ragged edges and fierce energy takes on a tangible cohesion under the direction of Albert while the Don Ayler Sextet shows several flashes of potential it is quickly buried under the rough acoustics and less-than-ideal recording conditions. The Albert Ayler session from France shows rare flashes of the quartet feeding off of the appreciative energy of the audience and reveals musically intense material that is well worth wading through the low quality recording.

Mark Helias' Open Loose: Atomic Clock. 2006. Radio Legs Music: RL 012.

Mark Helias: bass
Tom Rainey: drums, percussion
Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone
with guest Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone on one track

These ears are again transfixed by the drumming of Tom Rainey. I don't think I've ever heard him in any context that was less than outstanding. Here he is one third of a tight trio playing Helias' excellent charts. This music has incredible depth and I look forward to catching more details with repeated listening. There's a wonderful balance of energy and deep jazz roots at play in this sound. Tony Malaby is a revelation to these ears with his sustained creative fire.

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