Saturday, April 17, 2021

Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt - Made Out Of Sound (Palilalia Records, 2021)

Call it anything, as Miles Davis would say. This excellent duet recording between guitarist Bill Orcutt and drummer Chris Corsano ticks a lot of boxes for a wide range of music fans, molten Sonny Sharrock jazz fusion, GY!BE post rock and beyond. But what drummer Chris Corsano and guitarist Bill Orcutt are best at is creating their own hermetic pocket universe where they can create, improvise and resolve a resolve a series of thoughtful and well articulated tracks. On the opening performance, "Some Tennessee Jar," Orcutt's guitar is watery, slipping away like quicksilver or mercury at times, no matter how heavy the drums explode around it, becoming much sharper to meet the the tumult, creating a wonderful cacophony, as the sound envelops the listener from all directions. "Man Carrying Thing" is urgent and explosive right from the opening notes and beats with Corsano scouring his drums for every bit of kinetic energy, met by Orcutt's slashing electric guitar, creating a monstrous and thrilling duet performance. Sparks of guitar glisten amid the all out drumming onslaught then dive back down like percolating molten lava. Huge outrageous electric guitar chords and top down drumming open the brief "How to Cook a Wolf" where the towering guitar sounds are fantastic, with righteous drumming riding point. "Distance of Sleep" has a haunted and sparse sensibility, sounds of jagged edges any insomniac would be familiar with, developing a sharp craggy landscape of guitar and percussion with no smooth edges, lost in the wilderness with wolves, real or imaginary, at your heel. 6 There is wonderful texture at work on "The Thing Itself," with overlapping guitar, flowing like a stream, both hypnotic and hallucinogenic, creating their most psychedelic track on the album. Overdubbed guitars chime feverishly with waves of percussion pounding like surf, leading to auditory disorientation. "A Port in Air" has a rootsy theme using a beautiful guitar tone like a golden sunrise, allowing the musicians to create a well articulated duet sound painting, building a definite spiritual jazz vibe. This is a very impressive and exciting album to hear, even more so when you consider that it was a pandemic era recording that forced them to record their parts separately and seamlessly join them together. Ocutt’s guitar technique is vast, moving from fierce, angular shards of sound to shimmering, glowing harp like sounds, as if Alice Coltrane was being refracted through another dimension. Corsano is equally wide open to the possibilities of their meeting and provides a wide range of rhythmic textures that support and challenge his partner to take the music to an even higher plane. Made Out of Sound - Bandcamp

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