Saturday, May 07, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: Noises and Suites

Wolf Eyes & Anthony Braxton: Black Vomit. 2006. Victo: cd 099.

Nathan Young: electronics, metal, harmonica, voice

John Olson: electronics, metal, saxophones, gong

Mike Connely: electronics, metal, guitar, voice

Anthony Braxton: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, sopranino saxophone

Anthony Braxton's open embrace of both the "friendly experiencer" and the "friendly practitioner" finds a startling kinship with the noise artists of Wolf Eyes. Who in turn recognize a kindred sonic artist in Anthony Braxton. While the musical territory is frequently dark and prone to a language of amplified harshness, there is a striking common ground explored here. Wolf Eyes and Anthony Braxton both share an uncanny sense of formal shape. The noise exploits here are only an arrival from a journey through surprisingly delicate textures. Ultimately, this too-short set states a powerful argument for creativity that transcends stylistic barriers.

William Parker Double Quartet: Alphaville Suite: Music Inspired by the Jean Luc Godard Film. 2007. Rogue Art: 0010.

William Parker: bass
Rob Brown: alto saxophone
Lewis Barnes: trumpet
Hamid Drake: drums
Mazz Swift: violin
Jessica Pavone: viola
Julia Kent: cello
Shiau-Shu Yu: cello
special guest -

Leena Conquest: vocals

A composed jazz suite inspired by the dystopian story put on screen by Jean Luc Godard. A soundtrack composed and performed more than forty years after its cinematic inspiration. Pointing toward a strong artistic tendon that flexes over large swaths of time. Oblivious to the marketing machine limited to the present and its disposable fare. The two "Natasha's Theme," which feature Leena Conquest on vocals, are fleeting, hook heavy songs within an ocean of swirling comprovisation. The augmentation of the jazz quartet with a 2-cello string quartet adds a richness to this sound that expands well beyond any "plus strings" arrangement. The improvisational chops of Mazz Swift, Jessica Pavone, Julia Kent and Shiau Shu Yu playing along side the rhythm section of Parker and Drake offers up a sound where the demarcation between improvisation and composition is evenly distributed throughout this large ensemble. Experienced within a single sitting as a feature-length work, this music churns through a wide swath of thematic materials without ever losing its edge. Link

Jason Kao Hwang / Edge: Stories Before Within. 2007. Innova: 689.

Jason Kao Hwang: violin, viola, composer

Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet

Andrew Drury: drum set

Ken Filiano: string bass

Jason Kao Hwang is first and foremost an amazing composer and arranger. It is upon this foundation that such a significant accomplishment as the music found on Stories Before Within is possible. He also happens to be an accomplished improviser and performer on the violin and viola. Throw in the talents of Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and the rhythm section of Andrew Drury and Ken Filiano and Hwang has a perfect vehicle for exploring a startling synthesis of Asian musics with contemporary jazz and improvisation. The silken threads that binds this music together works flawlessly with the comprovisation approach to a music that blurs not just boundaries between global identities, but between pre-composed and improvised materials. Music that works on so many levels as this is rare and deeply compelling. Jason Kao Hwang's compositional prowess is one to watch for while his recorded output offers plenty to savor that reveals more detail with each repeated listening.

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