The edge in which the trio Kuzu lays down the five live tracks on All Your Ghosts In One Corner is sharpened by an impending sense of foreboding that accompanied (and still accompanies) the COVID-19 pandemic. Recorded at the end of a tour in March 2020, on the eve of our social isolation with clubs and concert venues soon shuttered, the trio delivers a truly Herculean set of music.
Formed in 2017, Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis invited the duo of electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon to perform and eventually record together. This is their fifth release and it follows the LP The Glass Delusion (Astral Spirits, 2021) and the CD Purple Dark Opal (Aerophonic Records, 2020).
The completely improvised music is drawn from two live sets recorded one day apart. Opening with a relaxed drum solo by Damon, Rempis enters quietly, blowing pillowy alto saxophone notes that invite Dorji to join with his single picked notes. The cautious nature of the opener gives way to the three part "Scythe" where Rempis' patented 'rip tear crunch' is unveiled. Sure there is mayhem here. "Scythe Part 1" endeavors to set off a wild fire of sound with shredded guitar and feral drumming, but this is also a trio endowed with self-discipline. Their mastery of the free jazz genre is on full display, evidenced by the trio's ability to rein in the chaos. Which of course means it is not chaos but mastery. Kuzu proceeds from intense energy jazz to tranquil passages guided by either and all musicians. Where the three part, "Scythe" is an ever changing landscape with its share of heavy molten lava; "Year Of The Rat" dodges and dives with chattering and often overblown baritone saxophone against booming, then clanking guitar and percussive objects. The music is hypnotic and extremely compelling.
One Fell Swoop; Scythe Part 1; Scythe Part 2; Scythe Part 3; Year Of The Rat.