Sunday, May 08, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: The Gradual Instant

Arrington de Dionyso & Gust Burns: Ataque Holotropical. 2006. Limited edition CD-R.

Arrington de Dionyso: reeds
Gust Burns: piano

Arrington de Dionyso and Gust Burns launch themselves into a free improvisation based primitivism that allows frenetic eddies to form around singular gestures before bolting off toward other sonic currents. Arrington allows his heart and gut to pour through his bass clarinet without impediment from intellect. Though intellectual currents do run strong through this physically demanding set. Gust Burns allows for rhythmic, often predominantly percussive playing for extended periods of time as he explores textures that both compliment and act as a foil for de Dionyso's excesses. Though he is often at his best with blurs of sound that form a rich harmonic canvas.

Kenny Dorham: Quiet Kenny. 1959 (re-released in 1992). Prestige/New Jazz: OJCCD-250-2.

Kenny Dorham: trumpet
Tommy Flanagan: piano
Paul Chambers: bass
Arthur Taylor: drums

Quiet Kenny for the gentle soul who was never brash with his hard bop trumpet skills. A style of music and an instrument known for drawing out the over-the-top showman, Kenny Dorham delivers devastating performances through restraint, calm focus and an unbelievable tone. This is one of the greats from the jazz tradition that simply deserves more awe. And certainly deserves more focused listening to discover the unerring logic behind each of his improvisations. His is clearly the mind of a great arranger. It doesn't hurt that Quiet Kenny includes a quartet of legends. The feel of Tommy Flanagan's piano playing combined with the luminaries of Paul Chambers and Arthur Taylor is evidence of Dorham's taste in bringing equals to the recording session.

Reuben Radding: Fugitive Pieces. 2006. Pine Ear Music: 002.

Reuben Radding: double bass
Matt Bauder: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Andrew Drury: percussion
Nate Wooley: trumpet

Listening is an exercise in memory and the ability to focus on the present moment in the face of memory. Fugitive Pieces has been an exercise in long term memory. In my mind, I had remembered this disc as a textural exercise with frictions and extended techniques that completely obscured the instruments contributing to these stark textures. This time through Fugitive Pieces that obfuscation was completely gone. The individual instruments appear in the soundscape with remarkable clarity. My increased familiarity with the individual players contributing to an ease at recognizing the improvised contributions to these austere sonic landscapes. An otherworldly sound that embodies the overwhelming beauty and grandeur of a windswept desert or slowly melting glacier. A sound imbued with humanity even as it operates on an almost geologic scale. In the end, the memory comes out stronger from focusing on this sound as I look forward to how my next encounter with this music will strike me.

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