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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Kaiser / Tom McNalley: Zugzwang

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Southern Californian experimental improvisers Jeff Kaiser (trumpet, electronics) and Tom McNalley (e-guitar, electronics) embark upon a mischievously bizarre sojourn here. Call it what you will, but this studio session serves as the epitome of crazed-out, avant garde sound-sculpting where just about anything is liable to occur. For the record, this is not spacey New Age-type fodder. However, the artists delve into a variety of moods, exploring angst, humor and alien soundscapes. McNalley's electric guitar phrases are generally concise and steeped in distortion; the duo fuses loops and ominous effects into the grand mix. In certain segments, Kaiser's ethereal and oscillinating ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Kaiser / Tom McNalley: Zugzwang

Read "Zugzwang" reviewed by

Recorded live with no overdubs, this duo album features trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and guitarist Tom McNalley in a creative affair where noise plays a major role. The session is serious, contains plenty of motion, and comes with innumerable surprises. The album's title is a word that refers to forced movement, as in chess. How many times have we found ourselves sitting around wishing to pass on some opportunity or other when we find that we're compelled to take action? Apparently Kaiser and McNalley feel compelled to fill the room with sheets of noise.

Like a game of chess, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom McNalley: Tom McNalley Trio

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In an exhausting session of his own compositions, guitarist Tom McNalley leads his trio through vociferous tirades as well as somber dreamscapes. The rise and fall of their passion immerses the trio in searing intensity one moment--gentle repose the next. Each of the three artists contributes a confident voice that drives the program cohesively.

With his guitar ablaze, McNalley turns fighter. He scores a knockout punch several times as he rips the air with ferocious streams of descant. Clear and crisp, the technique with which he excites the music carries a powerful message. With emotions bared and fingers ...



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