Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter '008

The benefit of so many of these consecutive snowed-in and sub-zero nights is that there's not alot to do besides getting really, really acquainted with your record collection. These sorts of musical benders usually induce an unnatural lust for new sounds, an insurgence of mail orders, and misguided, impulsive, frozen trips to the corner record shop. It seems the ear grows more acute this time of year. This winter I've decided the season's frontier I need to tackle should be the blogosphere. I went out and bought one of those gargantuan hard-drives and I plan on scraping the barrel clean of all sorts of nutso, obscure, rare and out of print gems. Some of my favorite finds so far:

ICP Orchestra

Group Composing, ICP006
Recorded in Rotterdam, 15/5/1970

Peter Brotzmann: tenor sax, Paul Rutherford: trombone, Han Bennink: percussion, Misha Mengelberg: piano, Evan Parker: tenor and soprano sax, Peter Bennink: alto sax, bagpipes Derek Bailey: guitar.

I can't say enough about this, but I have a suspicion that the more I write, the less people will read. Nevertheless, this is amazing. I really want to say something regarding the 'deep textures' that are improvised by this all-star line-up, but I fear it will sound cliche. But there is depth or some such quality in this recording that I haven't heard in any other to date. My knowledge of such things is still in it's infancy, but I believe that ICP006 is what we should talk about, when we talk about free-jazz.

Acoustic Guitar Trio

s/t (2001)
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Nels Cline, Rod Poole, and Jim Mcauley

Another bout of improvisation, though this one substantially less aggressive. I spent most of my life trying to convince myself that heart trumps skill, but this type of collaboration makes that brand of idealism hard to sell. The players tread delicately, and are remarkably respectful to the agenda, that is to say, no one at no point monopolizes the music. What most interests me in this recording is the unlikeliness of the partnered guitar lines. Unlikeliness is difficult to intend, and it sounds great here. I found this at Audial Forensics.

Moreland Audio
Turbogold (2003)
54-40 or Fight Records
Atl., GA
Well, not this album specifically, but the motherload of Moreland Audio live sets has been made available here. If nothing else, download one set. I assure you that you've not heard composition like this before. Two parts guitar, one part drums. For me, these are the tracks that launched an entire collection, I've spent good dollar after bad trying to find music like this, and at some point just gave up and went onto noise and free-jazz. Salut, Atlanta's finest! Uploads found at Master of None. Buy it proper.

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