Since 2010, Plane Crash featured the improvisatory skills of Henry Kaiser (guitar), Damon Smith (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums). But a new release finds the ensemble expanding to a quintet, taking improv into the zone of melting, vacuum-suck extremity.
Astral Plane Crash is out on Smith’s own Balance Point Acoustics label, the crew now also including Vinny Golia (reeds) and Ra Kalam Bob Moses (drums). The latter is a veteran percussionist who has played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Larry Coryell, Gary Burton and Dave Liebman, but who previously hasn’t recorded much within the world of free improvisation. His meeting with fellow sticksman Walter creates a blend of ritual invocation and clipped outbursts, as Golia’s gritty baritone saxophone faces up to Kaiser’s roaring guitar. But there also are gentler stretches on Astral Plane Crash, with Golia blowing delicate kawala, an Egyptian cane flute, and Kaiser probing space with spectrally hanging slide phrases.