Chris Mosley Trio: The Miraculous Aspect of Time. 2006. Red Button Records: RBR-101.
Chris Mosley: guitar, fretless guitar, 36-tone guitar
Damian Erskine: electric bass
Drew Shoals: drums
I could easily go for a full length recording of the "Interlude" material that Chris Mosley barely hints at on this set. Which is not a knock on the trio pieces that fill out the bulk of this recording with his thoroughly intimidating guitar chops and inventive sense of melodic development. It's just that I've heard a lot of insane guitar chops and inventive melodic development and it's the introspective, 36-tone guitar pieces that carve out new harmonic territory that hit me right where I live. The prospect of hearing a full hour (or several hours) of insane guitar chops and improvisational ability applied to a xenharmonic world is incredibly tantalizing and the brief "Interlude" pieces are just a wisp of what could be. Beyond that, Mosley is clearly a guitar talent that bears watching regardless of what creative directions he pursues.
Myra Melford/Be Bread: The Image of Your Body. 2006. Cryptogramophone: CG131.
Myra Melford: piano, harmonium
Brandon Ross: electric guitar, bajo, voice
Cuong Vu: trumpet, electronics
Stomu Takeishi: electric bass guitar, acoustic bass guitar, electronics
Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums
The familiar Melford composition "Equal Grace" opens this collection with an arrangement that pulls these ears in with incredible gravity. Promising an aural journey over the span of this disc and then delivering with breath taking accuracy. Myra Melford's compositions and arrangements (and titles) are infused with poetry and an absorption of Sufi spirituality. A poetry that emerges for just one track as Brandon Ross reads the poem from which so many of the titles on this disc are derived in "The Image Of Your Body." Poetry and music that is grounded within a sensibility of self and selflessness. This music turns inward and more spiritual through the tracks that Myra Melford switches over to harmonium. Forming the core of this set before moving back to piano and the mix of composed themes pollinated by bursts of free improvisation and ensemble textures. This is a remarkable recording.
The Ray Anderson-Marty Ehrlich Quartet: Hear You Say - Live in Willisau. 2010. Intuition: INTCHR71303.
Ray Anderson: trombone
Marty Ehrlich: clarinet, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Brad Jones: bass
Matt Wilson: drums
My first impression is that Brad Jones and Matt Wilson are accomplished enough musicians to deserve equal billing in this convergence of titans. Matt Wilson in particular has a way of propelling everything to the next level just by working the drum kit. This quartet is no exception even though one wouldn't think that Ray Anderson and Marty Ehrlich could possibly have a "next level" to go to. Each musician brings their own personality into this mix. And that means the compositions brought into this set allow plenty of room for both the "crazy" solos and a deep grounding in the history of jazz. These are musicians that play that history without wallowing in it. They bring the same kind of energy and sense of time that has been such a vital part of swing and bop through the ages and deliver a synthesis of something astonishingly vital. A great document of what happens when living masters collide on stage.