How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Steeped in various aspects of jazz tradition as much as it is on the cutting edge, the sonic territory covered by Modern Primitive is vast, to say the least. The music here, all freely improvised, has a warmth and immediacy that comes from intense, shared listening. Though there are no tunes or changes per se, that each player has an extensive background in modern jazz and other non- improvised music is quite evident. Historically, this is something that a lot of free improvising musicians try to hide. Instead, this quartet uses its "inside" musical chops to its advantage, producing a truly cohesive collective sound that moves from sweet melancholy to the brink of total chaos and back in the blink of an eye.
, to name a few. His innate sense of swing and tendency towards restraint in the face of heated exchanges between the other players is critical throughout Modern Primitive, particularly on "Meat Dress" and "Puppet Party."
Elgart has also worked extensively with bassist Meinrad Kneer
, which is evident in their deeply connected playing throughout. Kneer is a highly responsive player, anchoring the music with muscular boppish lines ("Beekeeper's Song," "Meat Dress") or wailing away, horn-like, in the upper registers ("Blank Mask," "Can You Hear The Rain?").
Highly impressive is the work of veteran electric guitarist Jeff Platz
. Like Elgart, Platz is an unpredictable, mercurial player whose sound, while rooted in the jazz tradition, can go anywhere at any time. His slide guitar work on "A Gently Sloping Knoll" is a welcome, whimsical surprise. Platz tantalizes further on "Impish Episode" where he whips a fuzzbox out of the musical ether. Multi-reed man Jan Klare, a frequent associate of Platz, has a pleasantly throaty, somewhat Ornette Coleman