Sunday, February 14, 2016

Gutbucket - Dance (Gut Records, 2016)

Gutbucket consists of Ty Citerman on guitar, Ken Thomson on saxophone, Adam D. Goldon drums and Pat Swoboda on bass. For over fifteen years they have been playing an energetic brand of music that blends the virtuosity of avant garde jazz with the volume of progressive rock. This is a live recording from The Stone in New York City and it shows how exciting the band can be in that setting. “Luton” opens the album with thick bass and strong drumming, adding squalls of electric guitar and saxophone, pushing the energy level to a cool modern free jazz and fusion combination with snaking rhythm and complex playing. The energy level is very high and exciting, and reaches a great crescendo of gushing music. The fast nature of the music continues on “Exercise” developing very well with the band kicking hard. The band is moving into blistering tempos, with the saxophone digging and snarling guitar keeping pace. On this track they prove themselves to be a wailing powerful juggernaut of a band. “Rum Spring” has a little bit slower and milder saxophone developing a nice rhythm with the drums, building to a more complex choppy section of improvisation with the music rising in pitch to the full band reaching a secure medium-up tempo punctuated by exclamations of saxophone, then finishing at a blistering pace. There is a skull crushing riff to “So Many Little “ then quiet abstraction before building to a dynamic of heavy metal sludge, thudding drums, thick reaching sax, and blasts of all out powerful music calling out amidst the slabs of raw sound. “Bounce Clap Shasta!” has a nice funky feel from the bass and drums as they develop a fun feel to the music then promptly subvert it with a more nervous disjointed section. Citerman takes a growling guitar solo over very powerful bass and drums, which makes for a very wild interlude, before the bands downshift to a quiet and somber conclusion. The band develops a craggy sensibility for “Buseve” led by fast and very nimble guitar and saxophone along with lithe bass and drums. It makes for very exciting music because everything is so fast and the band very tight and compact, like a skater pulling her arms inward to spin ever faster. This music is fast tight modern jazz very good collective improvisation everybody pulling together. On “2 Is Not Enough” the set and the album ends super fast full band riot, it’s great stuff full of humor and grace and rolling inexorably forward  making a short howling blast of energy. This album worked very well, the group worked hard to make the small cramped club into a theatre for their unique music and it captured them at their finest. Dance -

Send comments to Tim.