Gunda Gottschalk/Peter Jacquemyn/Ute Volker: Baggerboot. 2005. Henceforth Records: 102.
Gunda Gottschalk: violin, viola
Peter Jacquemyn: bass
Ute Volker: accordion
Free improvisation with strong parallels to improvised painting. Big, multi-colored paint brushes dripping with thick gobs of paint being flung into the frame of time to produce an aural image that fills every part of the canvas. The three tracks are labeled "Cascade I," Cascade II" and "Cascade III" for a music that cascades with the violence and beauty of a waterfall along a sheer cliff on its way toward a fierce splash and spray at the bottom. The reedy accordion pulled along by strong currents as the string instruments are sawed at mercilessly by Gottschalk and Jacquemyn. A spontaneous creation that loses nothing with repeated listening.
Ron Miles: Heaven. 2002. Sterling Circle Records: SC5151.
Ron Miles: Trumpet
Bill Frisell: guitar
Two forces of creativity and musicianship in its purest form in this outstanding duo recording. The sense of play takes on a particularly even handed quality through its treatment of Ron Miles originals along side Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan and a devastating take on Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart." All played as a flowing conversation between trumpet and guitar. The joyful, rootsy folksiness of "Just Married" is a strong initial draw into this listening journey that invites the ears to listen to the varied nuances that unfold between these players.
Future of the Left: Travels with Myself and Another. 2009. 4AD Ltd: CAD2913CD.
Jack Egglestone: drums, percussion
Kelson Mathias: bass, guitar, synths, vocals
Andrew Falkous: guitar, bass, synths, vocals
Punk music walks a fine balance between intelligence and stupidity. Not enough of either tends to make the end result intolerable. Future of the Left walks that line better than most I've heard. An ability to draw from unfiltered rage without being utterly consumed by it. More "polite" aesthetics rarely give ground to angry and stupid. Future of the Left opens up and traps it within conviction that is vaguely political and indignant. Somewhere along the way they hit upon some brilliant song writing. "The Hope That House Built," "You Need Satan More than He Needs You" and "That Damned Fly" hitting that sweet spot that makes this collection so imminently enjoyable.