When a jazz fan hears "trio outing," he might think bass and drums teamed up with a lead instrument: a piano, guitar or sax. But An Hour of Now, the third outing by Mike Klobas, Dave Storrs, and Page Hundemer, continues in a drums/drums/bass format. Two drummers and a bassist? A hard sell, isn't it? Who doesn't, in perusing the jazz CD reviews, check out the disc's instrumentation for an idea of the sounds to be encountered?
But it's not what you might think. Drummers Storrs and Klobas have played together, one way or another, since 1977, and have developed a telepathic, uncluttered interplay, a low-key percussive approach full of subtlety and nuance. Then there's the Berklee-educated Hundemer, who takes the electric bass into territories unknown, into guitarish and eerie orchestal soundscapes well beyond what you would expect from its normal rhythmic realm.
Another recent Louie release, the Tone Sharks' Four/Five/Three , suggested an underwater quality; I imagined the knock and rattle of beach cobbles shifting with the movement of the sea, responding to surges and waves. And it strikes me now that that aural experience may not be even close to universal, so some explanation may be in order.
The limited color spectrum of the underwater world is paralleled by a limited and muted sound spectrum. Sound waves are stretched and distorted into melliflous vibrationspropellers, colliding cobbles, Cetecean call and response, the squeals of dolphins, the yaps and barks of the sea lionesses calling her pups are all blurred and occasionally (and unpredictably) amplified, and all vibrate in the bones of the snorkler before they traverse the ear canals; and time is slowed down and bent by the cool blue saline viscosity.
The sound of Kloba/Storrs/Hundemer evokes that world, by design or not. More so with the textural addition of sequencing of Techno Lodge on three numbers.
Apparently "Techno Lodge" is Dave Storrs' second cousin, a mechano/electro/musical savant of sortsday job, dishwasher at a downtown cafewho has, among other achievements, rigged his place of employ's pot-washing machine to clink and gurgle and hiss and moan George Shearing's "Lullaby to Birdland" as it runs through its cycle. That sounds like Storrs pulling our leg, big time. Techno Lodge is surely Dave Storrs, even though he swears he is in no way shape or form a player of the keyboard. No matter. An Hour of Now is a a work of true originality, a separate species of sound evolved in the jazz backwater of Corvallis, Oregon.