Friday, November 27, 2009

Bobby Bradford, Tom Heasley and Ken Rosser - Varistar (Full Bleed Music, 2009)

This is another album that has been in storage for a while before being released. A collective group with Bobby Bradford on cornet, Ken Rosser on guitar and electronics and Tom Heasley on tuba, this music is very spacious and abstract. Spaciousness and subtlety are the key here, where the musicians act in consort and listen very hard with each other, creating in real time. "Delicious Red" opens the album with the instruments conversing freely. Bradford's cornet runs over tuba and guitar which then takes it's own turn to lead the trio for a short interlude. "Ohio" has interesting tuba and cornet with abstract guitar sounding like a harpsichord. The group improvises collectively at an open mid-tempo. Rosser's guitar probes like a coiling snake getting ready to strike. "Crooked March" has a short accessible sound, and "Not Forgotten" has some nice folk-like acoustic guitar and open and spontaneous snatches of melody on cornet. "Practically Sensible" features intuitive and fluid cornet and guitar and subtle collective improvisation. "Varistar" and "Elegy For John Carter" are slow and spacey with a spooky and haunted science fiction feel to it. The music unfolds in a cinematic manner with long cornet and tuba tones and accents of guitar. If you have the patience to listen attentively, the music here is very attractive. The music is transcendent of jazz, moving into a realm of pure improvisation where the musicians make their own concept and move from there.