Daily Archives: September 8, 2010

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

Louis Sclavis, Craig Taborn, Tom Rainey – Eldorado Trio (CF 193)
****

France has two great clarinet players: Jean-Marc Foltz whose latest album, “To The Moon”, still figures in the “Albums Of The Month” section.The other one is Louis Sclavis, without a doubt better known, and quite prolific. The problem with him is that he switches genres easily, between film music, straight-ahead jazz, avant classical, avant chamber jazz, over his great African trio, duets with Aki Takase, tightly composed modern jazz, to more adventurous music. Not all his initiatives are successful, and the breadth of his scope make each new album a surprise in style. That can be good, but sometimes also disappointing.

This trio is pure jazz with composed pieces and improvised tracks, but all with an adventurous streak, and that’s only possible and successful because of the superb musicianship both technically and creatively. Sclavis is of course on bass clarinet, but also on soprano sax, Craig Taborn plays piano and Tom Rainey drums, without a doubt each among the best on their instrument today.

The compositions range between the melancholy (“La Visite”) and the joyful (“Up Down Up”, “Possibilities”), or even the slightly insane (“Luccioles”), but all of them are musical delights. On “La Visite”, on which after a long and sad Taborn piano moment, Sclavis brings some of the most heart-rending bass clarinet-playing that I’ve heard in a while, slowly driving his beautiful playing to a wailing climax.

Sclavis is excellent throughout, using his full skillset on the clarinet from classical over swing to modern music, Taborn and Rainey are not only functional but they create the overall environment becoming a perfect fit for the variations in mood and styles, not just accompanying but creating the context in which the soloist must journey. Despite the variations, the music is still very coherent. One of Sclavis’ least polished albums, yet the rawness of the adventure suits him quite well.
http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-08-17T23%3A19%3A00%2B02%3A00&max-results=7

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

Joe Morris & Nate Wooley – Tooth And Nail (CF 190)
****

I have had the chance to listen to this album many months before it was released (thanks Nate!), and even if I found it hard and harsh and raw during the first listens, with Morris’s nervous little guitar sounds cascading over each other, bouncing back and forth, with trumpeter Nate Wooley’s tones ranging from the voiced to almost soundless whispers.

Because Morris plays acoustic guitar, and because Wooley’s trumpet sound is the opposite from muscular, with notes falling out of his trumpet rather than soaring through the ceiling, the music is incredibly intimate and close, warm even, despite the atonal nature of the proceedings. It is an alien universe, but like most avant-garde work, you as the listener need to make an effort too.

And once you’ve listened to it a lot, you start discerning structure, or repeated patterns, or little echoes that are not so obvious at first hearing.  And once you’re in their universe, it all is very welcoming, charming even, precious, sensitive and fragile.

Listen to Morris’s intro to the second piece “Gigantica”, on which – in contrast to the title – sounds escape from the guitar that you would not expect, almost harplike, yet each note played in singular isolation, with lots of space around them. Wooley accentuates by blowing some little puffs of air over it.  But on other tracks the guitar evolves with arpeggiated chords, equally minimalist yet with a touch more density, with the trumpet adding voiced interaction, in a language that is incomprehensible though touching.

It is a strange universe, but it is coherent, appealing and sometimes even hypnotic.
http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.com/

Music and More review by Tim Niland

Louis Sclavis, Craig Taborn and Tom Rainey – Eldorado Trio (CF 193)
Building organically out of the collective improvisational consciousness of the three musicians here, this live album has a very natural flow to it, moving between jagged freebop rooted in the great music of Eric Dolphy and a selection of lonely and moody ballads that develop like abstract art. The collective trio consists of Louis Sclavis on bass clarinet and soprano saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. “Let It Drop” opens the album with a choppy melody featuring rippling fast piano and drums. Sclavis comes in with fast exciting bass clarinet, building to a high intensity peak. I heard the Dolphy influence come through especially strong on “Up Down Up” which develops a vertical improvisation, making way for a cool section where the bass clarinet bubbles underneath piano and drums. The group gets really jazzy on the bopping head-nodding “Possibilities” which is fresh and lively and very accessible. Some of the slower performances are very evocative as well. Dedicated to the late saxophonist, “Steve Lacy” has a slow and mysterious feel, sounding elegiac and melancholy. Sclavis uses honks and squeals to accentuate the swirling saxophone that was Lacy’s stock and trade. Sadness and loneliness are the emotions that inhabit “La Viste” beginning with spare and open piano and then building to an emotional clarinet solo. The music is stark and naked in its emotional resonance. The disc ends on a somber yet stoic note with “Eldorado,” an improvisation that uses slow hollow clarinet and light brushes to probe an emotional soundscape. This was a consistently interesting album, that show three talented musicians working together as one unit. There are spaces for solo expression in this album, but the most effective and impressive statements came from the group playing as a cohesive unit, making collective performances that were very impressive.
http://jazzandblues.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-09-01T16%3A16%3A00-04%3A00

Music and More review by Tim Niland

Julian Arguelles – Ground Rush (CF 191)
Tenor saxophonist Julian Arguelles leads a tight modern trio, playing state of the art in post-bop jazz on this very well done album also featuring Michael Formanek on bass and Tom Rainey on drums. The trio embarks from the area that Sonny Rollins explored in his great trio albums Live at the Village Vanguard, Way Out West and Freedom Suite. They take this vibe and push it further into the realm where post-bop and avant-garde meet and mingle, yet the music remains quite accessible and exciting throughout. “Mr. MC” opens with a nod to the Coltrane classic “Mr. P.C.” playing fast and well integrated free-bop, collectivism at work as the band plays very well together. Thick bass and a medium tempo usher in “Fife” before Argulles saxophone picks up the pace in a strong yet controlled manner. He uses some well placed honks and squeals to accentuate “Filthy Rich” building a raw saxophone solo over complex drumming. A touch of funk and blues enlivens “Blood Eagle” which is a medium tempoed spacious performance, featuring nice teamwork in its collective improvisation. They slow down to a spare and haunted ballad tempo for “From One JC to Another” which has a yearning and emotional feel with long low sax tones and probing bass. “Buleria” is one of the highlights of the album building nicely from a slow opening to a section of growling saxophone over loping bass and drums. The subtle dynamics that are built by Formanek and Rainey keep the music continually fresh and playful, they build to a fast paced collective improvisation and then out. “Redman” wraps up the album nicely with strong deep saxophone and drums, free and exciting with a deft bass and drums section. This well integrated trio sounds like the have been playing for a long time, but I think they just came together for this session. Hopefully they can become a regular unit since the empathy they have for each other and the music is very impressive.
http://jazzandblues.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-09-01T16%3A16%3A00-04%3A00

Master of a Small House review by Derek

SKM (Stephen Gauci/ Kris Davis/ Michael Bisio) – Three (CF 189)
Operating under the ostensible leadership of saxophonist Stephen Gauci, but still very much an ensemble affair, versatility factors prominently on this straightforward trio set. Gauci and bassist Michael Bisio are well-established colleagues, their associations formed in the last decade on a number of projects for CIMP. Canadian pianist Kris Davis moves in similar circles having worked with New York notables like Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey. Their rapport manifests right away, stressing spontaneity rather than any predictable path with their instrumentation. It’s a “down to brass tacks” approach echoed in a simple initials-as-album title summary.

All but one of the program’s eight pieces is collectively composed. Only “Now” sources from Bisio’s pen, a solo feature for his signature emery board arco bass. Gauci sits out the opening minutes of “The End Must Always Come” setting a precedent that shapes the other tracks in the set. Sharply drawn duos and solos thread through various pieces with Davis and Bisio frequently pairing off for tightly braided interplay. The bassist is no stranger to pared down settings in the company of a piano and that familiarity serves him well here.

Davis responds in kind though repetitive aspects of her playing grate on occasion. In the closing minutes of the aforementioned opener she locks on an ostinato pattern wears it down to a nub as Gauci flutters in circles around her. It’s an action wrought with intent, but one that ends up sounding overwrought. “Something From Nothing” takes the tactic to an even greater extreme, barely equating with its title as the three musicians built a constrictive repeating weave from the barest of rhythmic materials. It’s an initially interesting exercise in self-imposed group parameters that ultimately feels overly hermetic.

Other pieces like the comparatively aerated Gauci/Davis duo “Groovin’ for the Hell of It” fare better in speaking to the trio’s strengths. Davis’ dusky and staggered chords have a Bley-like luster to them and Gauci’s fastidious feather-duster tone plies in the service of suitably diagonal phrasing. Those comparisons bring immediately to mind the classic Giuffre trio, but it’s really just a surface point of comparison. Balancing liberating extemporaneousness within the context of carefully considered structures these three players arrive at a music that both invites and largely withstands close scrutiny.
http://masterofasmallhouse.blogspot.com/

All About Jazz Italy review by Maurizio Comandini

Eric Boeren – Song for Tracy the Turtle (CF 186)
Ornette Coleman è sempre stata la fonte di ispirazione dichiarata per Eric Boeren e per la sua cornetta. In particolar modo lo è l’Ornette degli inizi o, per meglio dire, del periodo reso immortale dai dischi pubblicati dall’Atlantic.
Anche questo album, ricavato dalla registrazione radiofonica di un concerto che si era tenuto a Bruges alla fine di maggio del 2004, si trova ad essere a cavallo fra la musica di Ornette e il buon free europeo che si è sviluppato nel Vecchio Continente sin dagli anni sessanta. In realtà questo concerto era andato a finire nel dimenticatoio ma è stato poi riscoperto, un po’ per caso, grazie ad un vecchio compagno di scuola che incrociò Eric ad Anversa a fine settembre del 2008. Il tutto è raccontato in maniera divertente dallo stesso Boeren nelle note di copertina.

Il repertorio mischia sapientemente brani originali di Boeren (comunque ispirati ad Ornette e a Don Cherry), brani di Ornette Coleman e uno standard immarcescibile e romantico come “Memories of You” del pianista Eubie Blake. Al fianco di Boeren troviamo l’ottimo Michael Moore col suo sax alto e il suo clarinetto decisamente poco ornettiani, ma allo stesso tempo perfettamente inseriti nel contesto, il bravo bassista Wilbert de Joode e il veterano batterista Paul Lovens, sempre pronto a fornire il suo geniale apporto ritmico alle situazioni free europee più interessanti.

La presa di suono è decisamente buona e il quartetto si esprime con il giusto mix fra abbandono e lucidità che caratterizza i concerti più riusciti. C’è una sorta di straniamento di prospettiva dovuta probabilmente al fatto che Eric Boeren è un cornettista alla testa di un gruppo che si rifa ad un quartetto storico guidato invece da un saxofonista dalla forte personalità. Ma questo è solo un dettaglio che non provoca alcun decadimento nella qualità complessiva.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=5580

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

SKM (Stephen Gauci, Kris Davis, Michael Bisio – Three (CF 189)
The drumless jazz-improv trio (in this case tenor, piano and bass) offers up different possibilities. Without the drums there is a transparency to the musical texture, the bass is exposed in its direct manifestations unmediated by the wash of the ride cymbal and snare-bass-drum punctuations. The bass becomes a third “horn,” so to speak. The trio SKM (Stephen Gauci, tenor, Kris Davis, piano, Michael Bisio, acoustic bass) takes advantage of the opportunity in a densely creative self-titled CD just out on Clean Feed (189).

It’s modern avant chamber jazz that gives equal weight to all three artists. All the various solo, duo and trio configurations are made good use of. This is serious music. Seriously advanced music.

Michael Bisio is his usual inventive self, using all manner of standard and augmented techniques to create a distinctive aural universe. He is a master. (Any reader of this blog has come across my various accolades on his artistry, so I wont repeat them here.) He is shown in especially good light in this project.

Kris Davis plays a piano that combines a Cecil Taylor motility with some Cagean prepared piano sounds on occasion. She has a finessed earthiness that comes out of her own sensibility. The end result is a player of distinction. She engages in wide-ranging flights of fancy. She is impressive and mixes her attack with the others in a sensitive and eloquent manner. (See my review of Paradoxical Frog at my Gapplegate Music Review Blog for more on Ms. Davis.)

Steve Gauci sounds terrific on tenor, as he always does, though for this outing he is especially inspired with rapid jabs and asymmetrical phrasing that give the three-way musical dialog a special quality (that Kris and Michael pick up on and give back in equal measure. OK, so the causal arrow can go three ways, but it is natural to hear the tenor as the lead instrumentalist if you listen frequently to this kind of music. Here it is a three-way affair, so suffice to say that his fragments of phrases are a mirroring of, and are mirrored by Kris and Michael’s phrasings.) Steve also strings together some long, complicated-interesting lines when the music goes that way.

What is especially ear-grabbing to me is the judicious use of repetition here and there to intensify the particular emphasis at any given point. More than that SKM is improv at its best. The artists make a definitive statement. The CD should be heard by all those wanting to dig the latest in the improvisatory firmament. It makes for exhilarating, absorbing listening.
http://gapplegateguitar.blogspot.com/

El Intruso review by Sergio Piccirilli

Kris Davis / Ingrid Laubrock / Tyshawn Sorey – Paradoxical Frog (CF 183)
“El que domina a otros es fuerte, el que se domina a sí mismo es poderoso (Lao Tse)”
Paradoxical Frog es un proyecto que reúne a tres de las personalidades artísticas más poderosas y con mayor proyección que han emergido de la nueva escena del avant-jazz y la música creativa en los últimos años.
La pianista canadiense Kris Davis, el baterista estadounidense Tyshawn Sorey y la saxofonista alemana Ingrid Laubrock no sólo se asoman al firmamento musical del siglo XXI como auténticos popes de sus respectivos instrumentos sino que también han logrado distinguirse entre sus pares por la originalidad y el fuerte temperamento compositivo que cada uno de ellos ha sabido enunciar en sus noveles pero fructíferas trayectorias individuales. Al igual que la mayoría de los representantes de la nueva generación del jazz de vanguardia, en el imaginario creativo de estos tres músicos (hoy radicados en New York) conviven múltiples proyectos simultáneos.
Kris Davis, en lo que va del corriente año, además de ser uno de los vértices de Paradoxical Frog ha presentado su nuevo trío junto a Tom Rainey y John Hebert en el álbum Good Citizen, integró con Stephen Gaucci y Michael Bisio el SKM Trio, participó del álbum debut de la Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House, ha colaborado en las bandas de las vocalistas Sara Serpa y Andrea Wolper, formó parte del sexteto que acompañó al baterista Jeff Davis en el álbum We Sleep Outside y contribuyó junto a Bill Frisell y Vinnie Colaiuta en la nueva producción discográfica del bajista Kermit Driscoll. Todo esto sin dejar de mencionar sus intervenciones en años anteriores en el RIDD Quartet y la Jon Irabagon’s Outright! y su concurrencia en giras junto a la John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Steve Swell, Ingrid Jensen, Theo Bleckmann, Chris Speed, etc.
La actualidad de la saxofonista Ingrid Laubrock no resulta menos subyugante. En estos días acaba de presentar en sociedad, a través del sello Intakt, su proyecto más reciente: Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House (Mary Halvorson en guitarra, John Hebert en contrabajo, Tom Rainey en batería y Kris Davis como pianista invitada). Ha mantenido una persistente sociedad musical con el pianista Liam Noble, materializada tanto en el dúo que los congrega como en las participaciones de este último en los álbumes Sleepthief y Nein. Laubrock también es cofundadora, junto a la vocalista brasileña Mónica Vasconcelos, del ensamble Nois4 y ha desarrollado una prolífica actividad como sesionista que incluye cooperaciones en la Django Bates’ Human Chain, el Jazz Jamaica Allstars, Siouxie and the Banshees, la Grand Union Orchestra, la compañía de danza de Frauke Requardt y el Seb Rochford’s Polar Bear.
Por su parte el baterista y multi-instrumentista Tyshawn Sorey, a través de su participación en el trío Fieldwork (en donde comparte créditos con Vijay Iyer y Steve Lehman) y con apenas dos álbumes como líder (los elogiados That/Not de 2007 y Koan de 2009) ha logrado erigirse como uno de los compositores más inquietantes y personales del nuevo milenio. En tanto que sus ampliamente reconocidas cualidades como baterista se manifiestan en la actualidad en diversos proyectos colectivos, tales como Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, Pete Robbins’ siLENT Z, el Steve Lehman Octet, el Samuel Blaser Quartet y el Pascal Niggenkemper Trio y le han permitido colaborar en el pasado reciente con Butch Morris, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Peter Evans, Muhal Richard Abrams, Ellery Eskelin, Michele Rosewoman y siguen las firmas.
Lo cierto es que Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock y Tyshawn Sorey, al reunirse en Paradoxical Frog, transformaron lo que pudo significar una batalla de egos o la disolución de sus respectivas personalidades en una experiencia estética nacida en la integración de la diversidad, reemplazando así el egoísmo de la individualidad por un proceso muy próximo al concepto que Carl Jung definiera como “individuación” en donde la autorrealización personal en enlace con los arquetipos del inconsciente colectivo, se manifiesta como imagen psicológica de lo divino  o “imago Dei”.
La forma elegida por el trío para consagrar su potencial individual en el ámbito de lo colectivo, hace que el proyecto evolucione de manera extraña e inhabitual pero sin alterar la naturaleza de sus componentes. Esas infrecuentes cualidades parecen tener correlato en el título del álbum, ya que Paradoxical Frog refiere a la Pseudis Paradoxa (o Rana Patito para los amigos), anfibio anuro que a diferencia de la mayoría de las especies va reduciendo su tamaño a medida que va evolucionando hacia la adultez. De hecho los renacuajos de esa especie llegan a medir hasta 25 cm. de longitud mientras que la “rana paradójica”, en su etapa adulta, puede alcanzar como máximo unos 7 cm.
En el afán por conocer algo más sobre las causas de esta sorprendente transformación, consulté al famoso biólogo, zoólogo y cosmetólogo Mario Crisólogo quien, para mi sorpresa, afirmó que la pseudis paradoxa no era la única especie que se encogía con los años. En tal sentido se utilizó a sí mismo como ejemplo y afirmó: “Cuando tenía 20 años era un joven esbelto y atlético, hoy ya no soy ninguna de las tres cosas y encima mido cuatro centímetros menos. Según mis cálculos a los 60 años, aun permaneciendo de pie, estaré hablándole cara a cara a mi perro pekinés.”
Lo concreto es que las formas en que se manifiestan las aspiraciones del trío en el álbum Paradoxical Frog no sólo se asemejan a los parámetros evolutivos de la pseudis paradoxa sino que también guardan relación con los principios filosóficos del Tao. En El Libro de las Transformaciones se expone que los cambios no son una casualidad sino que obedecen a lo que Lao-Tse denomina “la triple transformación”, integrada por un cambio cíclico (en donde los cambios luego de producidos regresan a su estado inicial), una transformación de evolución constante (en la cual un estado conduce a otro pero no se regresa al estado primario) y un tercer ciclo en el que se accede al conocimiento de las normas que conducen al hombre a su verdadera transformación. No podemos afirmar que este álbum derive en la autentica transformación de Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock y Tyshawn Sorey, pero es muy probable que tras esta experiencia retornen a sus respectivas carreras solistas (una forma de regreso al estado inicial enunciado en el primer ciclo de El Libro de las Transformaciones) pero que lo hagan con los cambios que genera el conocimiento adquirido; es decir, de acuerdo al segundo ciclo del Tao en donde la “evolución constante” hace imposible el regreso al estado primario.
La breve y frenética Iron Spider, una de las tres composiciones que aporta Kris Davis en este proyecto, nos sumerge en los rituales catárticos de la libre improvisación. Un fresco abrasivo y desenfrenado que se nutre de un lenguaje pianístico que parece asociar el cambio de los centros tonales y el cromatismo extremo de Richard Wagner con angulares fracturas heredadas de Cecil Taylor, los impiadosos patrones rítmicos ajenos a todo cliché que aporta la batería de Tyshawn Sorey y el impactante bagaje tímbrico que emerge del saxo de Ingrid Laubrock. Justamente a esta última pertenece la pieza que da título al álbum, la enigmática y sugestiva Paradoxical Frog.
La solidez estructural de esta composición permite que su curso armónico evolucione con naturalidad desde un pasaje germinal de poético lirismo hasta alcanzar su clímax dinámico con un torbellino instrumental en donde sobresalen el poderoso fraseo del piano de Kris Davis y un solo de batería a cargo de Tyshawn Sorey, pleno de matices y sutiles acentos. En los catorce minutos de duración de Slow Burn se divisan los contornos estéticos e intereses filosóficos que suelen animar las composiciones de Tyshawn Sorey: la austeridad del minimalismo, el reflexivo carácter anclado en los principios del Zen y la recurrencia a transitar una impronta estilística asociada a la música de Morton Feldman. Todo enaltecido por el económico aporte de la batería de Sorey, el amplio dominio de técnicas extendidas evidenciado por Kris Davis y la holgura idiomática que brota del saxo de Ingrid Laubrock. La animosa Canines (otro de los temas de Laubrock) recurre a delicados motivos luego interceptados por perturbadores fraseos en piano y finalmente rematados por una sorprendente coda próxima al avant-rock. A continuación Tyshawn Sorey, con su pieza Homograph, nos invita a atravesar el umbral de un intrigante territorio sonoro que parece tener fronteras con el principio de las “células musicales de evolución lenta” esbozado por Morton Feldman y los conceptos de “silencio total” que enunciara oportunamente John Cage. Luego, en abierto contraste climático, llegan la sinuosa dinámica vanguardista de Ghost Machine de Ingrid Laubrock y la deliberadamente difusa y austera On the Six de Tyshawn Sorey. El cierre, con Feldman de Kris Davis, oficia como una síntesis estética del trío en cuyo punto de intersección afloran las melodías fragmentadas, la importancia asignada a los silencios, la disonancia y la ausencia de clímax.
El eje conceptual de Parodoxical Frog, desde su título hasta su contenido, gira en torno a la importancia de las transformaciones. Y nada más transformador que la música.
http://www.elintruso.com/article.php?id=1918

Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

Ivo Perelman, Daniel Levin, Torbjörn Zetterberg – Soulstorm (CF 184)
Dans le premier CD (la répétition avant le concert), saxophone et violoncelle dialoguent au premier plan et semblent imposer à la contrebasse le rôle – ingrat mais essentiel – de pivot rythmique. Ainsi, d’enchevêtrements en enchâssements, d’élans croisés en enlacements contrariés, Ivo Perelman et Daniel Levin appuient un cri commun ; ici long et sans modération, là inquiet et excessif. 

Dans le second CD (le concert), une fraternité de cordes, plus palpable qu’auparavant, se laisse entrevoir. Maintenant, Torbjörn Zetterberg mord à pleines dents dans la masse sonique : ce sont d’abord les tournoiements d’archets qui irriguent des climats souvent inquiétants et, plus loin, des duos sportifs entre ténor et contrebasse qui se tissent sans timidité. Toujours de mise, rugosité et tiraillements ne se dissimulent plus. Pas plus que ne s’efface le lyrisme fielleux, plaintif et médusant du saxophoniste. En oubliant ainsi rôles, règles et fonctions et en se livrant corps et âme, Perelman, Levin et Zetterberg impulsent ce qu’ils avaient sans doute rêvé : une fusion idéale, totale et grisante à souhait.
http://grisli.canalblog.com/archives/2010/09/03/18967764.html

Squid’s Ear review by Kurt Gottschalk

Transit – Quadrologues (CF 143)
There’s something pleasantly round about the music made by the quartet Transit. The group’s conjures notions of transportation, but their music feels more vehicular, more about the means of movement than some application of the old jazz saw of “going places.” They are more like a close shot on the “going” itself — more gerund than noun.

Drummer Jeff Arnal assembled the band for the 2006 release Transit (in time-tested fashion, the first album’s title becomes the name of the band) and here they hone their approach, tighten their focus, amplify their intent. Despite their base of operation, and even their naming a track for New York’s subway system (“Z train”), they seem more akin to Montreal’s smaller underground transit with it’s big, spoke wheels and rubber tires. The Métro de Montréal trains move more quietly, and invite observation of their means of movement, whereas the Z train hides its tiny, noisy wheels behind a skirt of metal. The Métro invites us to gaze upon its wheels, the roundness, the spokes, the mechanics. They move, they blur, they slow, they stop, their big bicycle wheels doing yeoman’s work. There’s something deceptive about them: the rubber tires so puncturable, the spokes too thin, it seems they’d break under the weight of hundreds of commuters, a split axle in the middle of the tracks like a child’s toy racecar, immobilized and never to be repaired.

But the Métro doesn’t stop in its tracks, and neither does this quartet, a classic “pianoless” ensemble à la Ornette. They are, they seem, sturdy, round and spoked. Reuben Radding’s bass at times rumbles to speaker-shaking depths behind an exciting horn section of shining star Nate Wooley on trumpet and Seth Misterka, a saxophonist deserving of much more notice. Together, they are in flux, in constant motion, in tempos more like undulating waves than machine guns or woodpeckers. They slow and speed up again (wait, make that more like a local train than an express!) with interconnections (spokes) happening more quickly sometimes than the ear (eye) can make out. The ten tracks seem to move past without pause, changing within as much as between. An exciting sort of dialogue, or quadrologue, spokes, bespoken.
http://www.squidsear.com/cgi-bin/news/newsView.cgi?newsID=1200