Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anthony Pirog - Palo Colorado Dream (Cunieform, 2014)

Anthony Pirorg is an up and coming guitarist based in the Washington D.C. area. He has a heavy support crew on this album with Michael Formanek on bass and Ches Smith on drums. The music can rock hard at times with an edge that approaches fusion or progressive rock, but also allows for spacious interludes and memorable melodies. The title song opens the album with a short soundscape, a format that is repeated through the album before the music ramps up with the track called "The Great Northern" which builds patiently from a Bill Frisell like beginning to a section of grinding guitar and heavily accented drums about midway through the track which is well paced, running confidently from a placid beginning to a rough and ready conclusion. "Song In Five" moves in an angular and fluid fashion, playing with the melody and improvisation in a dynamic fashion, flowing and then shooting off sparks of electricity. "Threshold" is strong and tough with Pirog playing snarly guitar and then looping and processing the sound over this bass and robust drumming. It's a short track, but it packs a powerful punch. The tribute to the late drummer Paul Motian, simply called "Motian" is a spot for Smith to shine, building shapeshifting rhythms before handing the baton to Formanek for a polished bass solo and then some out of this world guitar playing and looping from the leader. The concluding "Vicious Cricket" is a thrilling all out blast of energy, which has some scalding electronic affected guitar propelled by thick drums and bass. This is Anthony Pirog's first album as a leader and it is an auspicious beginning, his music is well constructed and thoughtful while keeping enough of an edge to keep listeners from becoming complacent. Palo Colorado Dream

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