Danny Frankel with Nels Cline & Larry Goldings: The Interplanetary Note/Beat Conference (2011)
Enough is sometimes enough. Drummer/percussionist Danny Frankel presents a shortish (by modern CD standards), 34-minute collection of 11 compositions on The Interplanetary Note/Beat Conference. Then again, sometimes a sketch can speak louder than an entire painting.
Frankel, a consummate player, has been a sideman to the likes of Laurie Anderson, Steven Bernstein, Lou Reed, Robin Holcomb, K.D. Lang, and Bebel Gilberto. Here, his musical vision is shared by guitar wizard Nels Cline, of Wilco fame, and Larry Goldings (Trio Beyond, James Taylor, Bill Stewart).
The disc opens with its longest track "Droppin' Things," a bluesy funk vehicle for Goldings to spill some grease onto the platter with his Hammond B3 and Cline to slur guitar effects over the pulse. From there, the disc reels off into some space-age bachelor pad sounds on "Apple Cider Vinegar," with Cline surfing a Dick Dale sound and "Gypsy Cabster" where bachelor bossa nova-meets-sitar. Frankel favors the bongos here, molding these pieces with a 1950s time machine touch.
With Frankel maintaining a minimalist approach throughout, the three brief percussion and studio loop collages, "Nefarious," present a pastiche of sitar, bongo, and cymbal work as a recurring theme.
"The Spider On The Wall" is an ambient sketch that resonates a dreamy climate of organ wash and metal percussion for a simple guitar solo. Where others might indulge in a lengthy jam, Frankel's next portrait is already arriving. Elsewhere he begins "Blue, Black, And Silver" smack dab in the middle of a noise storm: Cline destroying his guitar, Goldings exorcising some Sun Ra demons, and Frankel himself hitting things hard. Halfway through the three=minute song, all things resolve in a pacific swell. So short and, oh, so sweet.
Track Listing: Droppin' Things; That Spider On The Wall; Nefarious; 1958; Apple Cider Vinegar; Blue, Black, And Silver; Nefarious, Part 1; Dark Bob; Nefarious, Part 2; Slen; Gypsy Cabster.
Personnel: Danny Frankel: drums, bongos, springs, metals, clay pot, tambourine, Bass drums; Nels Cline: electric guitar, electric sitar, acoustic guitar, effects; Larry Goldings: Hammond B3 pianmo, teisshord, keyboard.
Record Label: Self Produced