среда, 5 августа 2015 г.

Curtis Hasselbring - The New Mellow Edwards (2006)

Curtis Hasselbring - The New Mellow Edwards (Skirl, 2006)
Curtis Hasselbring: Keyboards [Casio], Effects, Sounds, Trombone
Chris Speed: Keyboards [Casio], Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Trevor Dunn: Bass
John Hollenbeck: Drums, Melodica, Percussion

01 - White Sauce Hot Sauce Boss?
02 - The Infinite Infiniteness Of Infinity
03 - Abcs Of The Future
04 - Plubis Epilogue
05 - Double Negative
06 - (I'm The Annoying Guy Who Always Yells) Freebird
07 - Insaniterrier (The Radio Dog)
08 - Scatology
09 - Ana Black Francis
10 - Far-Away Planet
11 - Mamacita

Сurtis Hasselbring's New Mellow Edwards is a group that was originally formed in 1988. Known back then as the Mellow Edwards, the trio of trombone, electric guitar and drums explored a unique combination of free jazz and heavy rock that was very unique for it's time. Continuing through the 90s as a sextet with a similar musical onus, Hasselbring reformed the group as an acoustic quartet in 2002 and has made the New Mellow Edwards the focal point of his composing and band-leading. Curtis's compositions and the New Mellow Edwards' playing defies traditional jazz conventions and favors primal garage rock-derived grooves, textural explorations and classicaly-influenced structures. The repertiore of the group can be humerous, dark, accessible and exciting, often simultaneously.

The debut album by the ingenius composer\trombonist Сurtis Hasselbring. Сurtis's composing and The New Mellow Edwards' playing defies traditional jazz conventions and and favors primal garage rock-derived groove, textural explorations and classically-influensed structures. Curtis's tweaked version of a modern instrumental supergroup features strong performances from three New York's most innovated musicians, Trevor Dunn (Mr. Brungle, Electric Masada, Melvins), John Hollenbeck (Meredith Monk, Theo Bleckmann, Claudia Quintet), and Chris Speed (Human Feel, Bloodcount, Pachora).


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вторник, 4 августа 2015 г.

Devin Gray - Relative Resonance (2015)

Devin Gray - Relative Resonance (Skirl, 2015)

Devin Gray - drums
Chris Speed - tenor saxophone and clarinet
Kris Davis - piano
Chris Tordini - double-bass

1. City Nothing City 
2. In the Cut 
3. Notester 
4. Jungle Design (for Hannah Shaw) 
5. Transatlantic Transitions 
6. Undo the Redo 
7. RelativE ResonancE (for Tadd Dameron) 
8. Search It Up

From the outset, this rhythm section can do Henry Threadgill’s Zooid. Devin Gray (drums) and Chris Tordini (bass) have that thing down pat. Reedman Chris Speed and pianist Kris Davis are mixed in (mostly) separate channels and this works well, as they frequently play counterpoint with each other over the top of the amazing structural base. I wish the soloists were completely isolated in separate channels. In the left channel you'd get something wonderful from a Davis trio – and then cut out the left channel and you could hear an amazing Speed-led group. But we'll just have to be satisfied with the brilliant quartet. I’ll confess that I will check out anything with Kris Davis on it. She’s an incredibly well-rounded player with a real understanding of what makes a composition, a group improvisation, and an arrangement work. She is a perfect fit here. Gray has written arrangements for each instrument that present a balance, not only between composition and improvisation, but between each player's contribution to the overall picture. On “Notester” the Zooid groove disappears, making for a more challenging – but no less enjoyable – listening experience. Tordini and Davis lock especially well here to support Speed's flights. Things get appropriately humid on “Jungle Design,” which also has a house-of-mirrors feel about it. It's the first and only time the “balance” ideal becomes a bit claustrophobic. “Transatlantic Transitions” returns to Zooid funk about two minutes in; and Davis and Speed lead the band through abrupt twists and turns. The written bits – on the entire disc – are intricate and fascinating, like studying the insides of a finely crafted timepiece. Delicate precision is key to the execution of this music. Throw in a wild card like free improvisation and... How do they make this work so well? Nowhere is the tight balancing act more evident that on the title track, which compresses everything that is great about this band - and these songs - into 3.5 minutes of brilliance. The interplay between Gray and Tordini leads the group to ecstatic – and briefly, improvisational - heights. Who knew the avant garde could be so perfectly symmetrical? [Free Jazz Blog]


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