Dan Clucas's Lost Iguana Ensemble: Do You Know The Ways (2012)
"Chaparral," which clocks in at about 25 minutes, begins with an assured cornet solo. Clucas' playing (later on flute) is full of urgency but, at the same time, very gentle, stressing long melodic lines. Cellist Jessica Catron, drummers Brian Christopherson and Dave Waynewho add light electronicsand tubaist Mark Weaver encompass Clucas' instruments with restrained, minimal gestures, building quiet, dramatic tension. This tension is never resolved, however, throughout the changing, arresting episodes of this dark composition.
"Ask Possum" is a free-form collective improvisation, moving between energetic moments and distant, atmospheric segments, while still focusing on mutual listening and tight interplay. Here, Clucas features his extended techniques on cornet and breadth of his musical vocabulary, referencing influential players such as Bill Dixon and Don Cherry.
Clucas' second composition, "Boulevard," develops patiently. Beginning with the leader sketching long, simple lines on cornet and changing into a slow, microtonal cello and tuba duet energized by spare drumming, it concludes with Clucas' distorted playing, which blurs the delicate, fragmented interplay previously built by the other players. The freely improvised "Ask Peacock" closes, sticking to the same vein of patient interplay, though here it is more energetic and playful, alternating solos on a simple theme.
Dan Clucas's Lost Iguana Ensemble's debut is a highly rewarding musical journey.
Track Listing: Chaparral; Possum; Boulevard; Ask Peacock.
Personnel: Jessica Catron: cello; Brian Christopherson: drums, percussion; Dan Clucas: cornet, flute; Dave Wayne: drums, percussion, electronics; Mark Weaver: tuba.
Record Label: Plutonium Records