Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dylan Ryan Sand - Sky Bleached (Cuneiform, 2013)

This is an album of power trio music, touching on jazz fusion and progressive rock where the guitar, bass and drums recall The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Nels Cline Singers, and their music is powerful and complex. The group consists of Tim Young on guitar, Devin Hoff on bass and the leader Dylan Ryan on drums. The use of electric guitar allows for varying degrees of texture within a piece of music and the band exploits this open sense of possibility throughout the album. "Mayan Sun" and "White Magic" are two short pieces of blistering fast paced electricity that could be called "punk jazz" for the lack of a better term due to the hard-hitting power and brief length. The eerie "Soft Rain on a Dead Sea" and the set ending title track "Sky Bleached" use longer and more colorful pastel shaded tones of music that bend and refract the music in different directions, making for a larger palette of sound, rhythm and dynamic nature available to the musicians. The ability to sculpt noise and use it as a vehicle for transmitting improvised ideas is at the heart of the music on this album. All three musicians work very well together, making the best of their great skill and dynamic volume and avoiding any pitfalls of overindulgence. This is a well done album that defies easy categorization and invites investigation by a wide range of listener. Sky Bleached -

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