Friday, June 14, 2013

Ross Hammond - Cathedrials (Big Weezus Music, 2013)

Progressive jazz guitarist Ross Hammond leads an excellent west coast based quartet with Steuart Liebig on bass, Alex Cline on drums and Vinny Golia on tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and flute on this very exciting and frequently thrilling new album. “Cathedrals” opens with an excellent nod to Albert Ayler, hinting at the feel of his masterpiece album Spiritual Unity. The group takes their time, slowly building up the intensity as strong insistent guitar, bass and drums develop, and Golia digs in on tenor saxophone. He switches to flute on “Hopped Up On Adrenaline” which makes for a cool sound when combined with guitar, with solid locked in bass and drums for support. Things quiet down a bit on “A Song for Wizards” with processed guitar blends with subtle brushed percussion. Hammond builds a powerful yet controlled guitar solo with soprano saxophone alongside. “Run, Run Ibex!” is taken at a medium tempo with meaty guitar and tenor saxophone developing a chiseled majestic feel, building to a high level of intensity. Flute and guitar take center stage again on “Telescoping” Jagged shards of guitar are hurled forth supported by excellent bass, coming to a head in a feverish section where Golia switches to soprano saxophone and swirls faster and faster as if propelled by gravity. “This Goes With Your Leather” has rousing saxophone with guitar, bass and drums crashing in. Hammond develops a massive riff stomping with a rock like manner, while Golia remains unperturbed. They develop a killer collective improvisation over a massive beat, developing overwhelming music that demands to be played loud. The tempo is kept up and strong on “She Gets Her Wine From a Box” where slabs of drums and guitar are met with wailing saxophone. The evolve to a great fast improvisation that is filled with the feeling of excitement. This was a very well done and exciting recording. Hammond is developing a new and original conception and fans of forward leaning music should definitely check this out it. Cathedrals -

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