Sticks and Stones: Shed Grace (2004)
Sticks and Stones is made up of AACM member/saxophonist Matana Roberts, bassist Josh Abrams, and drummer Chad Taylor. Their second release from Thrill Jockey Records, Shed Grace , fills the listener's mind with the abstract ramblings of Coltrane's late '60s work and the free-jazz explorations of Ornette Coleman. Shed Grace contains mostly originals but also features covers by Fela Kuti, Thelonious Monk, and Billy Stayhorn.
The second track from Shed Grace , "The Refusal," highlights drummer Chad Taylor's expectional use of percussion, making for an authentic sound of indigenous Africa. Saxophonist Roberts, who has played with jazz greats like Ravi Coltrane and Don Byron, plays sweet melodies that hover above Taylor's ride cymbal and mingles with Abrams' bass solo.
With a funky opening beat, "Colonial Mentality" mantains a steady bass line throughout most of the song while Taylor and Roberts trade solos. By the middle of song, Taylor goes back into the opening beat and Roberts laments as the song closes.
"Isufahan," one of the longest tracks on Shed Grace, is a perfect example of Sticks and Stones' capability of on-the-spot improvisation. "Isufahan" is a walking urban blues number that shows the trio can sound just as live in the studio as they can at the late-night sessions at their favorite Chicago club, the Velvet Lounge.
Track Listing: Shed Grace, The Refusal, Wordful, Skippy, Veatrice, So Very Cold, Colonial Mentality, Wonder Twins, Isufahan, 4:30
Personnel: Matana Roberts,alto saxophone; Josh Abrams,bass; Chad Taylor,drums,percussion
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Style: Modern Jazz