Wednesday, January 16, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Dancing to Poets, Writers and Malaise

Elliott Sharp/Tectonics: Errata. 1999. Knitting Factory Records: KFR-255.

Elliott Sharp: electronics, guitars, reeds

Drawing upon the sonic fibers and studio techniques of electronica musics, Elliott Sharp develops a tightly wound sonic material that finds its groove and constantly puts it under strain as every layer and element is subjected to relentless creative energy. This music leaves the mindless throbbing of the dance floor behind without betraying the visceral pleasures of a steady pulse. This is a music that keeps the mind dancing, and ultimately that has more lasting appeal than anything more squarely within the traditional - more dance oriented - electronica genre.

Ornette Coleman: Dedication to Poets and Writers. 1962. Also released as Town Hall, 1962. Music Magic: 30010-CD.

Ornette Coleman: saxophones
David Izenzohn: bass
Charles Moffet: percussion
Selwart Clark: violin
Nathan Goldstein: violin
Julian Barber: viola
Kermit Moore: cello

This live recording from an Ornette Coleman era that began at the conclusion of his Atlantic Records contract - following a series of quartet recordings that truly were the shape of jazz to come - is an old favorite to these ears. With a twin dose of Coleman's trio sound that would later be well documented, and his string writing that has such an amazing sound it continues to confound and frustrate me how little there is of it on record. The title track - a string quartet - should have ushered in a whole cycle of chamber music to rival that of any other twentieth century composer for that medium. The final track, "The Ark" is a delicious combination of both trio and string quartet with a sound that hints at the masterpiece Skies of America that would be recorded on a later date.

Marc Ducret: Un Certain Malaise. 1998. Screwgun Records: 70005.

Marc Ducret: electric guitar

Marc Ducret's guitar playing has become a recent fascination with these ears with his endless inventiveness with Tim Berne. The chance to hear his improvisations in isolation - and in this case recorded live in 1997 - reveals the impressive depth of Ducret's sustained creativity. This is an incredibly beautiful solo guitar outing that leaves the ears hungry to hear more of Ducret's sonic approach - both solo and within ensembles of varying sizes. The often quiet and deliberate quality of this music is a pleasant surprise given his ability to turn on the noise with Berne's Science Friction group.

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