Jon Rose / Chris Abrahams / Clayton Thomas: Artery (2006)
This music is energetic, bizarre and exhilarating, though finesse might not be the right term here. It's more about frenetic in-your-face improvisation, catapulted by Rose's energized staccato lines and unusual effects-based treatments, and the other artists' penchant for soaring to lofty zeniths. Think of circular passages, fractured themes and veering dialogues coagulating into microtonal dissertations and rambunctious group-based interplay.
On "The Elastic Lamina, Abrahams' frenzied harpsichord progressions counterbalance the other musicians' bullying intensity; a medieval muse attains equal ground with shrieking lines and aggressive statements. They institute descending, spirally moving passages on "The Feeding Lumbar, and generally render a mindset akin to mad scientists at work or play.
Listeners who are already familiar with Rose's work should find a great deal of interest here, as the overall theme is based upon medical terms. But a note of caution: this album is not for the faint of heart. However, if you're simply yearning for some delectably off-kilter, insightful and periodically spellbinding music, then this disc may fit the bill.
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Track Listing: The Superior Mesenteric; The Great Gonadal; The Elastic Lamina; The Ascending Aorta; The Feeding Lumbar; The Upper Suprarenal.
Personnel: Chris Abrahams: harpsichord (3), positive organ (4), forte piano, tuned in kernberger 3 (1,2,5,6); Jon Rose: vatilliotis violin, tenor violin; Clayton Thomas: contrabass & objects; Clare Cooper: prepared concert harp (4).
Record Label: The NOW now
Style: Modern Jazz