Seething at its borders, improvisation eagerly embraces stray forms of music. The New York avant quartet Gutbucket know this fact, and they use it to great advantage on InsomniacsDream.
Funk, noise, free improv, swinging jazz, and pounding rock all flow into this record. The common theme that ties the disc together is open-ended improvisation. Gutbucket's postmodern juxtaposition of styles means a tune might ease into nightclub jazz cool, then gradually disintegrate into flying shards of sound, then leap directly into dirty funk. No holds barred. Their live shows are legendary.
The "jazzy" instrumentation of Gutbucket consists of saxophone, guitar, bass and drums. Each player demonstrates a remarkable versatility among styles; one has the feeling that the group represents a collective and not a hierarchy. As opposed to comparable po-mo groups like Naked City or Sex Mob, Gutbucket revolves around the act of independent creation. They rely on musical ideas of their own construction, not ironic references to someone else's recognizable styles or song forms. And their sound is all that much fresher for it. I must admit that I have a special fondness for brazen, unabashed trampling of barriers between genresbut Gutbucket does something truly special here. It's some of the most exciting and creative improvised music that's passed through my stereo in a long time.
Personnel: Paul Chuffo: drums; Ty Citerman: guitar; Eric Rockwin: bass; Ken Thomson: saxophone.