Alex de Grassi and G.E. Stinson: Shortwave Postcard (2001)
As the record progresses, it becomes clear that each piece grips its own identity, which is a remarkable feat for such a wide-ranging collaboration. Whether composed of scattered pointillistic thrusts or sweeping held notes, each tune remains coherent. That's the compositional edge of Shortwave Postcard : unmistakable and efficient. But the record also strikes a balance with improvisation, and the expression of ideas conceived in the moment provides a nice, satisfying degree of unpredictability.
And the element of surprise is what makes Shortwave Postcard such a striking success. Rather than falling into traps of genre and style, these tunes lope along through odd amalgamations of atmospheric electronics, blues, abstract free improvisation, Eastern mysticism, folk music, and the uncategorizable beyond. For listeners with a curious and open mind, it's hard to recommend this record highly enough. What a wonderful surprise to have discovered Shortwave Postcard.
Track Listing: Always Falling; Small Talk; Map of the Night; False Bottom; Heavy Lifting; While You Were Sleeping; Subway Incident; Shortwave Postcard; Behind the Sun; Robot Shiva; Demon Crossing; Signal Drift; Slanted Morning; Tin Can Necklace; Exposed Bottled Up; Some Have Departed.
Personnel: G.E. Stinson: electric 6 & 12 string, baritone, and bass guitars, implements; Alex de Grassi: acoustic 6 & 12 string, high-strung, and baritone guitars, paint brush.
Record Label: Auditorium
Style: Modern Jazz