How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Poet Steve Dalachinsky has the type of voice that those of us who dont live in New York City often associate with denizens of that metropolis. It produces words in a deliberate and matter of fact fashion with inflections that are equally restrained and pronounced. Dalachinsky never raises his voice much as he recites lines like "love is a criminal that offers me/food while/draining my bones of their marrow." Phrases that could be angry, appear as if they are the most normal things imaginable and that makes them especially piercing.
Dalachinsky is clearly the dominant force here but a number of the most acclaimed musicians in the world of experimental music provide do provide support on the great majority of this discs 33 tracks. All of the musical performances deserve praise but a few are a bit more intriguing than others. Vernon Reid is surprisingly lyrical on both the two tracks where he plays an electric guitar as well as on the cut where he uses an acoustic model. Although their playing is more predictable, flutist Rob Brown and pianist Matthew Shipp use both of their talents to the max when they back Dalachinsky on "the conquest." My favorite performances, however, comes from trumpeter Roy Campbell. He plays in a slightly left of center but wholly comforting blues style on "spring equinox" and "the Mahabharata Bluettes."
All of the tracks last under five minutes and thus, given the alternating lineup, Incomplete Directions lacks a sense of continuity. This is a stellar recording if you like fusions of jazz and poetry. If, on the other hand, you are like me and tend to get bored by such combinations, this disc might work best as a sampler of the same greatest players in the world. And the problem with samplers is that they are rarely satisfying on their own.
if cars could fly; james dean; night viewing; disjunctive; the saxophone
factory; tapping the reed; in the book of ice #4; in the book of ice #5; empire; i dreamed i
was van gogh; duets; 3 card monty; one thin line; for mary; lament #1; incomplete directions; nightglass; spring equinox; new jersey; the conquest; in the cold; a tale of krishna; focus; glissandos; slim slow swimmer; the tv Is totally broken; the Mahabharata Bluettes; for the dance; tribute to Bob Kaufman (the shadows); blue #1; THE MUSIC WOKE US UP ONE NIGHT; the wind.
Personal: Steve Dalachinsky voice; Daniel Carter - assorted reeds, flutes; Sabir Mateen - assorted reeds, flutes; Vernon Reid -electric and acoustic guitar; William Parker bass; Stephanie Stone piano; Thurston Moore - acoustic guitar; Tom Surgal drums, percussion; Mat Maneri - electric violin; Assif Tsahar - tenor saxophone; Susie Ibarra drums; Matthew Shipp piano; Vito Ricci - electronics, split drum; Roy Campbell trumpet; Rob Brown flute.