How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Glen Hall plays tenor sax, soprano sax, bass flute, bass clarinet, as well as chipping in with electronics, samples, processing, and vocals. He is heard most clearly on tenor sax on this disc, and his is a strong voice, more bop-inflected than the environment of this disc might lead a listener to expect. For this is a tribute to the late great drughead William S. Burroughs, and it is vertiginous and just plain weird enough to satisfy old Burroughs' desiccated and depraved soul.
There are spoken-word passages, "Alamout" and "Grey Fingers," backed by swirls of sonic goo and delivered with proper Halloweenish intensity by Hall and Judith Merril. Snatches of this sort of thing whirl in and out of other areas of the disc.
But in and among it all, there is the fabulous trombonist Roswell Rudd, who is always worth hearing, and that goes double here. He and Hall shine on "Cut-Up," a great strolling piece to which they contribute solos - jazz solos - of the highest quality. Rudd is even better - indeed, he is at his tailgating best - on "Splintered Carnival," on which he also provides heavyweight support for Allan Molnar's marimba. These two tracks alone are well worth the price of admission.
Glen Hall, ts, ss, b cl, b fl, electronics, samples, processing, voc; Roswell Rudd, tbn; Nilan Perara, g; John Lennard, d; Rob Clutton, b; Barry Elmes, d; John Gzowski, g, oud, soprano g, electric dowl; Geordie McDonald, perc; Judith Merril, voc; Allan Molnar, vb, mba, tapes; Kim Ratcliff, g, slide, bjo; Don Thompson, b, p.