On Intents & Purposes
, Kyle Bruckmann returns with a new Wrack, revising the lineup of the group which released its self-titled debut
in 2003. Anton Hatwich (bass) and Jason Stein (bass clarinet) replace Kurt Johnson (bass) and Jeb Bishop (trombone), out of circumstance rather than necessity. Bruckmann's vision and direction continue to work in the clasp of musicians who give his ideas cohesive movement and shape.
Bruckmann does not let genres restrict him. He uses classical music and chamber music and gets into the explorations that jazz warrants without being idiomatic in the process. All this augurs well, more so as the compositions open outward and let the players explore, invent and flesh them out.
The most striking example of the way a tune can move and metamorphose comes with the deliberate buildup of "Intents and Purposes. Bruckmann and Stein bring in the first vestiges of melody, which grows from the exploratory to a determined linearity. Together they give the composition a body, with Jen Clare Paulson adding a fluttering soul on the viola. Timothy Daisy's percussion stirs the incipient beauty of the tune, while the men on the horns now deepen the groove. The spectrum changes; the pulse has become charged with intensity as freedom and structure find complementary avenues.
If Bruckmann has taken minimalism into a throbbing three-dimensional frame here, he turns it around on "Further Ado. The music dances with joy on this rollicking rompin the beckoning of the music hall, the swinging fury, the free yowl of the horns, and the happy, footloose conversation between Daisy and Hatwich.
Music can be moulded and changed, and in doing so it can develop enthralling characteristics. All that takes is an open mind and a team of players who can leap over norms and barriers as Wrack so convincingly does.
Personnel: Kyle Bruckmann: oboe, English horn, suona; Timothy Daisy: percussion; Anton Hatwich: bass;
Jen Clare Paulson: viola; Jason Stein: bass clarinet.