This 2009 and third release by drummer Jerry Granelli's dual-guitar band, features a DVD, Live At Ironworks, which documents the unit's Vancouver performance, used as a vehicle for working through the material on this album. Known for their loose developments and improvisational acumen, this studio set highlights the musicians' unhurried and textural approach to the grand schema.
Granelli is an accelerator and colorist. He paints the background via delicate cymbal swashes and rolling tom fills, while electric slide guitarist David Tronzo and guitarist Christian Kogel execute abstract rock, free-jazz rock and minimalist dialogues. Ultimately, the band is in no rush to make its point. Yet, they insinuate an abundance of persuasive propositions.
The Super Audio CD format offers a detail-oriented soundscape, is a factor that lends itself nicely to the quartet's mode of attack. At times, the guitarists up the ante with brazen and edgy explorations, topped off with weepy lines and crunching, power chords. They engineer a wide-scope of emotively based themes, morphing semi-structured improv segments into concrete statements.
On "Udon Waltz," bassist J. Anthony Granelli counterpoints the guitarists' quaint phrasings, as thoughts of an off-center lullaby come to fruition. And they rev it up a few notches during the medium-tempo bop piece "Dizzy Moods," where the soloists engage in a few raucous free-form metrics.
With a slippery stride, complementing a rolling and sometimes thundering impetus, the program intimates a near seamless blend of lateral thinking and neatly organized song-forms. The ensemble's distinctive imprint cannot be undermined.
Personnel: Christian Kogel: electric guitar; David Tronzo: electric slide
guitar; J. Anthony Granelli: bass guitar; Jerry Granelli: drums.