Saturday, August 08, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: From Burnt to Bad

Annie Gosfield: Burnt Ivory and Loose Wires. 1998. Tzadik: TZ 7040.

Nickolaievski Soldat (1994)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard
Roger Kleier: electric guitar
Jim Pugliese: percussion
Christine Bard: percussion

Freud (1996)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard
Roger Kleier: electric guitar

The Manufacture of Tangled Ivory (1995)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard
Roger Kleier: electric guitar
Jim Pugliese: percussion
Christine Bard: percussion

Four Roses (1997)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard
Ted Mook: cello

Blue Serge (1996)
Annie Gosfield: sampling keyboard

Brawl (1998)
Rova Saxophone Quartet:
Bruce Ackley: soprano saxophone
Steve Adams: alto saxophone
Larry Ochs: tenor saxophone
Jon Raskin: baritone saxophone

Conceptually and sonically stunning compositions. There's an intuitive feel to the unfolding of these pieces as they gravitate from pulsating groove to asymmetrical gestures that fall away to reveal the sound design work embedded in the sampling keyboard parts. The creative (and never overtly systematic) use of microtones consistently move this material into a harmonic territory adapted toward the timbral impulses at work in this music. With Brawl, it is striking to hear how the ideas that are so tangled with the electronics and sampling technology in the other compositions on this disc carry over into Gosfield's writing for acoustic instruments. Restless, at times violent, music that taps into a thought filled energy.

Mark Feldman: What Exit. 2006. ECM: 1928.

Mark Feldman: violin
John Taylor: piano
Anders Jormin: double-bass
Tom Rainey: drums

Mark Feldman's illustrious career as a performing violinist includes a stint with the television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Though it's hard to imagine a more satisfying "hallelujah" than the swelling textures of "Arcade" that open this disc. The tide that ushers in the violin toward a plateau of the full quartet inspires an "amen" as it stretches out through righteous arrangement toward its symetrical decrescendo at the close. The shorter tracks that follow in its wake are well crafted prayers of jazz composition. Particularly "Everafter," offered up in memory of David H. Baker. And the Tom Rainey effect is in full force throughout this disc. (Tom Rainey effect = involuntary admiration of great drumming triggered by either recordings or live experiences with this amazing drummer). This one is a real favorite in the rotation.

The Bad Plus: Give. 2004. Columbia/Sony Music: CK 90771.

Reid Anderson: bass
Ethan Iverson: piano
David King: drums

An outstanding trio. And Give is an irresistible Bad Plus party that hits all the cerebral, emotional and groove-happy nodes. Each track is a polished, live and exuberant balance of play and arrangement. Unafraid to rock and unafraid to flash a smart harmonic turn or virtuosic sequence.

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