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Showing posts from February, 2012

Jacob Wick, Marc Riordan, Frank Rosaly: Tres Hongos, Where Dreams Go To Die

In a trio collaboration with Jacob Wick on trumpet, Marc Riordan on piano and Frank Rosaly on drums, Tres Hongos demonstrates that improvised music from musicians, born within the last four decades, recalls as much from the past as it projects innovation and awareness of the present. The youthfulness of the musicians gives the music its rawness, its edge, its angularity, its penchant for sound examination as opposed to grandiloquent, lilting lyricism, for instance.  
The inexorable amount of detailed expression that documents the energy that goes into maintaining restraint gives the music its edge. It is no mystery that muscle and breathing control are components of managing the non-explosive retention within the playing.  No time is wasted to clarify that the trio is going to pull back and articulate no further than the tremolos or choruses that Wick repeats on his brass instrument or the notes Riordan plays mechanistically on the piano keys or the snare rolls, snaps, and cymbal hisse…

Matthew Shipp Trio: Elastic Aspects: Thirsty Ear, 2012

No matter whether he plays solo or with his trio, in his recordings, Matthew Shipp appropriates a signature design that includes introduction, evolution, climax, denouement and conclusion. The quality of the music in each recording never shifts; its character does. His fourth recording with his trio, this group including Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums, Elastic Aspects demonstrates clarity of motion that goes unquestionably forward but never deviates from an intensity, even in its quiet moments, that denotes universal embrace. 
This story is prefaced with a slow-tempo arco bass line layered over amplified, distorted drumming and piano. Shipp’s mid-range chords, which he exits with single treble notes, follow; and then, after a breath, the guts roll out. Bassist Bisio picks out a sturdy rhythm; drummer Dickey coincides with light cymbal to snare combinations; and the piano persistently relates thematic ostinatos. It is as if Shipp opens the gates for everyone to walk thr…