Gail Brand / Tim Perkis / Gino Robair / John Shiurba / Matthew Sperry: Supermodel Suermodel (2006)
Producer, percussionist, and label chief Gino Robair has a habit of inviting improvising musicians to meet and create. His early work was with the hard-core improv band Splatter Trio, before associations with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Butcher, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne and John Zorn. In 2002 he invited UK trombonist Gail Brand out to the Bay Area for a series of concerts and recording sessions. Supermodel Supermodel documents a very successful tour and meeting.
The London-based Brand studied with Veryon Weston and has met critical success with her quartet Lunge with Mark Sanders, Phil Durrant and Pat Thomas. Her very "human-voiced" trombone is a remarkable feature here, as are the laptop electronics of Tim Perkis. Known for his work with the Natto Quartet, he is rather inconspicuous throughout. His manipulations support, accent and finish a thought here and there.
The three sessions (recorded in 2002 and 2003) sadly bid farewell to bassist Matthew Sperry, who was killed while bicycling in 2003. The improvising bass heard here is a clear distinct voice, almost playing a straight role in parts. John Shiurba's guitar tears some nasty threads on "Christy Christy, popping lines around Perkis' surges. In other places the guitar work is simpler and almost child-like. "Twiggy Twiggy is a meditation on short breaths, seemingly every member drops short bursts of exhalation before resolution into silence. Robair, in the company of these runway exhibitionists we call uber-models, doesn't give us a beat to flounce around to. He sneaks brushes and rubs, plinks and plops down on the collective audience.
These tracks of very brief improvisations are bite-sized to allow for easy consumptionor maybe that's all a supermodel can eat at one sitting.
Track Listing: Naomi Naomi; Christy Christy; Christie Christie; Twiggy Twiggy; Tyra Tyra; Stephanie Stephanie; Cindy Cindy; Iman Iman; Kate Kate; Kathy Kathy; Elle Elle; Linda Linda; Claudia Claudia.
Personnel: Gail Brand: trombone; Tim Perkis: electronics (laptop); Gino Robair: percussion, faux dax, horns, styrofoam, ebow snare; John Shiurba: electric guitar; Matthew Sperry: bass and preparations.