Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait and Switch - Comeuppance (NotTwo, 2013)

Bait and Switch is an interesting jazz ensemble that produces a very compelling and exciting sound which is based on dynamics that unfold from from fast and loud to quiet and intricate. I have been listening a lot to the 1973-74 version of the rock band King Crimson lately and this band would be right at home covering Crimson staples like “Fracture” and “Starless” which build from relative quiet to ferocious segments of improvisation. The band consists of Lisa Mezzacappa on bass, Aaron Bennett on saxophones, John Finkbeiner on electric guitar and Vijay Anderson on drums. “Le Crab” begins the album with strong drums and muscular saxophone coming out of the gates hard. Bennett is very interesting on this track where he uses a coarse and primal sound to excellent effect. The action drops drastically in the middle of the track with bass and light percussion, before the full band comes back together. “Cruciferous” is one of the high points of the album, with knotty guitar leading a deeply textured improvisation that slowly develops into scalding electricity and pummeling drumming. Again, the group turns on a dime into an open section at the halfway point. Bennett’s saxophone fills in beautifully, with his saxophone growing to a wail in front of a grinding band which moves into a howling collective improvisation. “Las Hormigas Rojas” is also very exciting, opening with angular shards of guitar and bowed bass. There is a hypnotic smearing of of sound color and feel, before some strutting saxophone surges forth with a brawny tone, building tension to the breaking point and then releasing in an ecstatic way, followed by excellent guitar that develops a kaleidoscope of sound. Comeuppance - amazon.com

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