Gene Ess: Fractal Attraction (2013)
On the whole, Ess' compositions are angular, with sharp corners and dissonant tendencies. "Silver's Fate" is serpentine, with a complex head that gives way to straight scat singing by Alexa. "Blues for Two" is a bouncing, traditional tune, tightly arranged and delivered. The lengthiest piece on the recording, the 14-minute long "Ascent," is characterized by a John Cage-informed prepared piano approach, executed by David Berkman and Ess in a seamless cascade of musical ideas rolling over one another. While this music sounds free- wheeling, it is an affectation; Ess' compositions are all well-considered and thoughtfully conceived and arranged. The presence of Alexa is merely an extension of Ess' vision, one that is amply realized.
Track Listing: Silver's Fate; Blues For Two; Ascent; Letter From Boston; Tanabata; Fractica; Descent; Fractal Attraction.
Personnel: Gene Ess: guitar; Thana Alexa: voice; David Berkman: piano; Thomson Kneeland: bass; Gene Jackson: drums.
Record Label: SIMP Records
Style: Modern Jazz