Dave Fox Group featuring Bruce Eisenbeil: Home Again (2009)
The third release of the Dave Fox group, augmented now by avant-guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil, presents free improvised music at its best. This is adventurous music that's raw, muscular, unstructured, intense, idiosyncratic in its risk-taking approach but still cohesive in a unique way.
The group is comprised of North Carolina's Greensboro College music educator Fox (here on Fender Rhodes, Hohner clavinet, grand piano and Hammond B3 organ) and New York-based Eisenbeil on guitarsquite often processing their soundalongside Fox's musical partners, bassist Pat Lawrence and drummer Jon Marc Ryan Dale.
The quartet begins with a dense free-form improvisation, "Leaving The City," exploring sonic possibilities through constant changing rhythmic patterns, while the jagged fretting of Eisenbeil and distant keyboards of Fox add an atmospheric edge. Eisenbeil leads "Of All The Tapas Bars In The World..." in an energetic, dense pattern of chords that surprisingly turn into a standard blues scale, but Fox's keyboards color it in cosmic psychedelic tones. "The Well-Prepared Suitcase" begins as an unstructured exploration of sounds from the quartet's instruments but culminates in an arresting duet between Eisenbeil and Fox on piano, each going to the extreme.
"Airports And Me" is a more structured and patient duet between Fox and Eisenbeil as Dale and Lawrence join inall four looking for a common pattern vertically in a standard manner, pushing the music forward while locking on a certain rhythm, but at the same time in a horizontal manner, thereby expanding the piece's sonic envelope. "An Encounter With A Street Troll" is another dense piece with similar fractured structure and sudden changes, where Fox's B3 channels it into a kind of early fusion alley while Eisenbeil's intense bluesy fretting may be inspired by the same era but pushes this piece into stratosphere. After the spare and mysterious improvisation of "Nightfall in Taos, New Mexico," the quartet concludes in a more straight-forward manner with "Home Again, For Now," inspired by cosmic sixties psychedelic blues.
Track Listing: Leaving The City; Of All The Tapas Bars In The World...; The Well-Prepared Suitcase; Airports And Me; An Encounter With A Street Troll; Nightfall In Taos, New Mexico; Home Again, For Now
Personnel: Pat Lawrence: Bass; Jon Marc Ryan Dale: Drums; Bruce Eisenbeil: guitar; Dave Fox: keyboards.