Thursday, August 23, 2012

Audibledelusionsensemble - Winter's Weapons

This album is another in the long line of commendable free jazz efforts from my San Franciscan buddy, Matt Grothman (Wives, Vholtz, Woman's Worth...).  I don't recall the full story on the background of this album but I believe it was recorded live at Berkley and the music/band was put together specifically for that performance.  I found their take on electronic elements in approaching free/improvisational jazz to be most refreshing.  Combined with the organic familiarity of Matt's sax (I think he played sax, anyhow), piano, and live drumming, the result is an obscuring of worlds.  Not so much colliding as they are evolving together.  There are some pretty unique moments of noise-rock overlaps in to the jazz world here.  On "The Approach" it sounds as if the person manipulating the electronics has mic'd the drum kit and ran that source through an array of FX processing which creates a grinding and almost industrial soundscape, all the while the piano player plucks out a Monk-like melody to weave in and out of the chaos.  This is some serious "nu-jazz" that is not to be listened to lightly.  It's obvious this isn't just a bunch of kids screwing around with the elements of improv and jazz without understanding the roots.  The roots are evident on this recording while the improvisation seems to focus more on deconstructing those roots to an even more primal oblivion.  This is notably evident in the guitar work on the first track, "First Composition."  If you're a fan of Sun Ra or the Art Ensemble of Chicago, then this is probably up your alley.  Winter's coming.

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