Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mike Pride - Drummer's Corpse (AUM Fidelity, 2013)

Drummer and musical conceptualist Mike Pride is comfortable in a wide variety of musical settings. After studying with the great percussionist Milford Graves, Pride has gone on to perform and record in a wide variety of settings from straight ahead jazz to heavy metal. He released two albums simultaneously earlier this month: Birthing Days, a fine post bop small jazz ensemble recording, and this album, which goes in the opposite direction entirely. This album is experimental in nature, focused heavily on rhythm with the opening track “Drummer’s Corpse” pulling together the cream of the improvising percussion scene including Bobby Previte, Ches Smith, Tyshawn Sorey along with some guitar and wordless vocals to develop a wild and fascinating ride. The pummeling drumming becomes hypnotic and drives the performance relentlessly forward. Pride describes this performance as his Ascension, referring to John Coltrane’s intense masterpiece and his hatred of war and violence. The music is roiling and near apocalyptic with a free jazz percussion orchestra blasting away but always with a purpose and never out of control. It is a cry in the dark against hatred and injustice, and it leaves an indelible imprint. The second piece, “Some Will Die Animals (for Gen Makino)” is dedicated to the drummer and sound artist Menko, and uses vocals and recitation of words and phrases to create a compelling and disjointed narrative. The band on this piece is a little more standard, Chris Welcome on guitar, Eivind Opsik on bass, Pride on drums and vocals, plus Marissa Perel, Yuko Tonihira and Fritz Welch reciting prose. I really enjoyed this disc, it was very exciting and risk taking. Mike Pride is always is someone who brings interesting and innovative music to the table, no matter what format. Drummer's Corpse - amazon.com

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