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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Soar Trio: Emergency Management Heist

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Edgetone Records prides itself on taking risks and offers extensive support for its roster of artists, who often compose and perform outside the box. Therefore, the cleverly titled Emergency Management Heist is an avant-garde trio outing that emits a sensation that the musicians could be planning some sort of raid amid pensive or gradually climactic incarnations. They broadcast grave situations via nervy meanderings but most always get to the root of the issue. Hence, the trio means business, but doesn't overpower or embark on free-form blowing contests. It's a concentrated effort as they methodically develop a course of action.

INTERVIEWS

Thollem McDonas: The Beauty of Never Going Back Home

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What is often forgotten about improvised music is that it can come from anywhere. Though its history is inextricably intertwined with jazz, improvisation is part and parcel of a myriad of musical cultures. Pianist and composer Thollem McDonas is not just aware of this fact, it is part of his daily existence. About 10 years ago, McDonas burst on to the improvised music scene; fully formed and with a sound all his own--one that owes surprisingly little to jazz-piano- as-we-know-it. Yet, McDonas is not disdainful or insecure about his relationship to jazz. If anything, jazz is just one of many ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thollem / Parker / Cline: The Gowanus Sessions

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Glaring expressionism coupled with rip-roaring layers of acoustic-electric sound-sculpting maneuvers yield the bountiful fruit on this manifold studio date. When guitarist Nels Cline isn't tearing it up with the popular alt-rock band Wilco, he's knee-deep in progressive-jazz, free-form experimental and jazz-rock formats. He's catapulted to the upper echelon of modern guitarists, paralleling the colossal faculties of bassist William Parker and pianist Thollem McDonas. Parker has been a perennial driving force behind the reshaping of jazz along with the improvisational paradigms that follow, and generates a propulsive yet, at times, pensive undertow on the sixteen-minute “Lives." As McDonas ...



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