Monday, July 20, 2009

Lucky 7s - Pluto Junkyard (Clean Feed, 2009)

When Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast on the United States in 2005, it scattered the survivors far and wide. Some of the city's musicians followed the migration path that musicians have been following for decades, moving north to Chicago. What has resulted are some interesting collaborative projects, including this one consisting of Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert on trombone, Josh Berman on cornet, Keefe Jackson on tenor saxophone, Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Matthew Golombisky on bass and Quin Kirchner on drums. The sound that the group gets is quite interesting, their performances meld the spontaneity of free jazz with the structure of composition and they are often suite like, moving through sections of shifting focus over the course of one performance. The opening "#6" has shimmering vibes and sputtering trumpet in an uptempo fashion, giving way to an interesting and blustery trombone and bass duet interlude, then the music shifts into an abstract collective free section. "Pluto Junkyard" has a strutting feel featuring trombone, before moving into a slower slurred section."Ash" opens with some slow unaccompanied trombone and then mysterious sounding vibes backed with bass and drums. Kirchner picks up the pace, pushing the cornet and trombone in an exciting fashion. A swirling dreamy collective section and a speech like trombone solo round things out. "Cultural Baggage" has an urgent melody, propelling the music into a strong vines led improvisation. Jackson solos on saxophone, sounding raw and caustic. "Future Dog (For Jaki)" features free and open improvisation with strong tenor saxophone over percussive vibes and drums. The music becomes strong and cacophonous before downshifting to a slower trombone, vibes and drums setting. Berman adds a strong, ripe cornet solo over some cool and rhythmic drum work. Cross cultural collaborations like this are excellent for the continued development of the music. Using the language of jazz and improvisation as a starting point, musicians from around the country and around the world are able to share experiences and bring new vibrancy and focus to the music they create. Let's just hope it won't take another natural disaster the likes of Katrina to encourage further cross pollination.
Pluto Junkyard -

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