Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Golia / Kaiser / Moses / Smith / Walter - Astral Plane Crash (Balance Point Acoustics, 2018)

This album is an exciting and very interesting collaboration between Vinny Golia on saxophones, clarinet and flute, Henry Kaiser on guitars, Damon Smith on amplified double bass and Ra-Kalam Bob Moses and Weasel Walter on drums and percussion. (Promo video here) There are two very long tracks of inspired collective improvisation, the trio of Kaiser, Smith and Walter has played together for years, producing some excellent albums, but the addition of the west coast reedman Gloia and drummer Moses kicks this performance up to an even higher level. Golia is reminiscent of the great Sam Rivers, switching instruments in mid flight to add just the right texture to the improvisation. The opening track "Fountain of Dreams" is nearly forty five minutes in length and the epic nature of the music gives the musicians ample room to stretch out as the twin drumming unit creates deep and moving rhythms that are continuously in motion, with the bounding bass cuts through the thick sound to add additional rhythmic heft as well as an individualistic voice contributing to the collectively improvised performance. The guitar and drums alternate between skittish pointillism and snarling roar with the sound of Kaiser's electric guitar bursting out at time to spray colorful shards of sound across the musical landscape. The album's other track, the thirty five minute excursion "Mysterious Journey" lives up to its title with the opening played by delicate acoustic guitar and flute, Golia's flutes are a wonder and he incorporates a technique that uses overblowing, vocalizations and growls to create an individual and memorable sound. The music takes flight soon after with the drums gradually increasing the momentum of the performance, Golia moving to a variety of saxophones, primarily soprano and sopranino, which soar over and cut through a powerful psychedelic freakout of electric guitar and drums that sets the pace for a very impressive performance of exploratory and far reaching free improvisation. This was a very impressive album, and deserves the attention of open eared jazz fans. The group is a dynamic powerhouse that can move from a whisper to a scream and create a musical landscape that is ripe for exploration. Astral Plane Crash - amazon.com

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