Saturday, December 12, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: Confluxed with Monumental Disappointment

Available Jelly: Monuments. 1994. Ramboy: 07.

Eric Boeren: tumpet, alto horn
Jimmy Sernesky: trumpet
Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Tobias Delius: tenor saxophone
Gregg Moore: trombone, tuba, mandolin, electric bass
Alexei Levin: piano, accordion, organ
Eric Calmes: bass, bass guitar
Michael Vatcher: percussion

A sonic vehicle of the Dutch jazz scene and an approach to large ensemble jazz writing with enormous appeal for these ears. This sound is a staple in the HurdAudio rotation. Music that darts off at odd angles around a solidly melodic sensibility. Textures that bend toward whimsy and frolic or languid and brooding. Just underneath this sound is an astonishing grasp of jazz history combined with a willingness to draw from any era.

The Rempis Percussion Quartet: The Disappointment of Parsley. 2009. Not Two Records: MW 811-2.

Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Tim Daisy: percussion
Frank Rosaly: percussion
Anton Hatwich: bass

An improvising quartet as a sonic dialogue between creative equals. However, three quarters of this particular ensemble is rhythm section. The resulting sound is like an "extended trio" with the two drum kits weaving together into a texture that crackles with a little extra energy. The percussive elements never feel layered or doubled. Just expanded. Hatwich adds a distinct personality to the mix with his bass while Dave Rempis takes full advantage of this solid and extremely responsive sound that surrounds him. The Disappointment of Parsley ends up being a solid and thoroughly enjoyable experience that balances almost perfectly between the forces of jazz history and the forward propulsion of modern improvisation.

Wally Shoup/Toshi Makihara/Brent Arnold: Confluxus. 2004. Leo Records: 399.

Wally Shoup: alto saxophone
Toshi Makihara: drums
Brent Arnold: cello

An improvising trio delving into a space of pure sonic retreat. The considerable ability of each individual held intensely in check as they work a taut line of responsiveness along this prolonged, collaborative endeavor. The tension between lines of sounding materials drawn tighter through the sparseness of the texture. Toshi Makihara occasionally erupts. Wally Shoup occasionally takes flight. Brent Arnold will occasionally plumb the expanses of what a cello can sound like. But in the end this is the work of a true trio. The instrumental characters sublimated into an energy that is the sound. An extreme consideration between egos making up this inspired release.

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