A trio of guitarists, Raoul Björkenheim, Mike Sopko, and Dominic James, join New York mainstay Bill Laswell and drummer Hideo Yamaki on this hour-long jam session. Recorded on January 20th of this year at John Zorn‘s Stone, Inaugural Sound Clash clearly refers to the inauguration that took place earlier that day (especially with its subtitle “Against the Empire of Alternative Facts”).
Despite appearing to be a protest album when judged by its cover, the recording itself does not come across as overtly angry. Instead, the trio of guitarists play in a blues-rock style, trading riffs and solos. When one of them takes the lead, the others add textures in the background. Laswell contributes his trademark smooth and echoing bass lines, while Yamaki provides a variety of unusual but steady beats for the others to work off of.
Consisting of one 56-minute track, there is plenty of room for all of the contributors to stretch out. Thus, in addition to the more intensive soloing and chording, the quintet takes it down from time to time, exploring tempos and atmospherics. But this is not free improv – there is ample structure, a reprise or two, and the rhythmic elements are familiar enough for Inaugural Sound Clash to have a broad appeal.
Source: The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music.
Ars Nova Workshop (ANW), in partnership with FringeArts, presents a new jazz and contemporary music festival unlike anything Philadelphia has seen – or heard: The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music. This four-day, multi-venue listening festival centers at FringeArts’ waterfront headquarters, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race Street) from October 5-8, 2017.
The inaugural OctRev will take place October 5-8 on the FringeArts campus, and will include performances at neighboring sites and venues. ANW is curating a line-up of the most thoughtful, adventurous music inventors and performers of our time, from across a diverse range of genres that span jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical and radiate outward. Confirmed acts include:
NEA Jazz Master and AACM founding member Anthony Braxton
MacArthur Fellow, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) founder, and “young star of the modern flute” (The New Yorker) Claire Chase
An ultra-rare appearance from The Art Ensemble of Chicago, one of the most influential ensembles of all time
A new duo featuring harpist Zeena Parkins and drummer Brian Chase, best known for their extensive work with Bjork and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, respectively
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil in celebration of their new recording on ECM Records
Sun Ra Arkestra performing their seminal 1973 Impulse Records album “Space is the Place” in its entirety
Once I know that the debut Happy Place LP was written in a state of nocturnal sleeplessness, I begin to hear it differently. The rhythms (courtesy of two drumkits) start to sound increasingly slurred and intermittently synchronous. The guitars tumble out in streams, unimpeded by the discipline that reigns over the daytime. Repetition traps me in the company of nagging and anxious thoughts that recur on a constant loop. Composer Will Mason has referred to Northfield as reflective of his home of New York, and while I’ve only visited the city once, it’s enough to identify a couple of elements that ring true to my own experience (the crossroads of rhythmic activity, the bustle of guitar chatter).
Read our reviews of Mason’s recent releases:
AMN Reviews: Will Mason Ensemble – Beams of the Huge Night (2015; New Amsterdam Records)
AMN Reviews: Happy Place – Northfield (2016; Exit Stencil Records)