Friday, November 21, 2008

Suite: Bittersweet

Nels Cline/ Wally Shoup/ Greg Campbell

Suite: Bittersweet (2007)

Strange Attractors

There's a good amount of records out there that are of Suite: Bittersweet's brand of modern free-jazz. Most of this brand involves the participation of names like Flaherty, Corsano, Shoup and Cline (and a host of others in this revolving door of worthy improvisers). These are the best of the best of our day, to be sure, but it's strange how these records now have a particular, unique set of expectations attached to them. You could not safely call these improvisations 'ground-breaking', or 'cutting-edge' as they seemed to have evolved into their own sub-genre, their own classification. But saying that does not intend to take anything from the unforeseen landscapes welded in these sessions. Nor do I intend to imply that they are premeditated. What in fact we have is a sort of controlled apocalypse. Like a C.I.A. experiment in which they remove a small town from all contact with the outside world in order to simulate Armageddon. It's real. The hysteria is real. But you can be assured knowing that it will not spread into some sort of John Zorn debacle.

This particular album has gotten quite a bit of playing time recently. I wouldn't rate it any better or any worse then any of it's contemporaries, if such a comparison is even possible. It does score a 100% for genuineness, which is probably the ony requisite we should have on improvised music. This is guitar, sax, drums, from 2007, and it is in print at SAAH. but assuming you'll hear this and immediately go out and buy the full record and the multitude of others of it's kind, I'll be willing to post the B side only to this record temporarily, and by request. Enjoy.


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interesting stuff here!