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by Dave Wayne
While it's true that a really great band is capable of expanding its listeners' musical vocabularies, it turns out that this LA-based quartet's name is also a vocabulary-builder in the literal sense. Slumgum is actually a real word that refers to the waste products from beekeeping operations. Those with the good fortune to hear either of Slumgum's recordings (Quardboard Flavored Fiber is the band's second) or catch the band live stand the chance of obtaining a mind-expanding double-whammy. This quartet ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
Legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius' classic 3 Views of a Secret" could adequately describe saxophonist Jason Robinson's three incredibly distinct recordings. Concurrent 2010 releases include The Two Faces of Janus (Cuneiform), with a tremendous ensemble featuring Drew Gress, Liberty Ellman, George Schuller, Marty Ehrlich and Rudresh Mahanthappa; and the more intimate, but equally daring duo collaboration, Cerulean Landscape (Clean Feed), with pianist Anthony Davis. The final piece to the trifecta, Cerberus Reigning , is an electro-acoustic solo project, with Robinson's saxophones ...read more
by Frank Rubolino
Hans Fjellestad steers a most unusual solo course on 33. Through the technology of this digital age, he augments his piano playing with sampler, synthesizers, accordion, and electronics commingled with street noise and talk recorded in numerous international cities. From an acoustic standpoint, Fjellestad stands as an adventurous experimental improviser who adopts a percussive approach on the keys. He establishes dense layers of cascading sound with spirited runs across the breadth of the keyboard.
The lower end of the sound ...read more
by Frank Rubolino
Guitarist Fred Frith lists maniacal laughter as another instrument on the collaborative session with trumpeter Lesli Dalaba, pianist Eric Glick Rieman, and violinist Carla Kihlstedt. Indeed, a sense of animated gaiety countered with sadness protrudes from many angles. The strings, horn, and keys all promote references to uncontained frolicking, remorsefulness, and many other emotions of the heart and mind. The quartet represents a tight collective responding to the wide-ranging feelings promoted by each member, ranging from stark depression to overt ...read more
by Richard Moule
Despite the unfortunate name, Hans Fjellestad and Damon Holzborn don’t make asses themselves here.On this series of live recordings, these two members of San Diego’s Trummerflora Collective explore the netherworld of electroacoustic improvisation, noise art and free form jazz. The majority of these pieces might be interpreted as simply being soundscapes but these aren’t passive synthesized washes. There is astringent, menacing tone to them. Fjellestad and Holzborn manipulate their hard wired instruments with a bracing intensity, shifting between ...read more
by Richard Moule
Trummerflora No Stars Please Accretions No one can accuse this San Diego experimental collective of lacking a sense of openness. Indeed, the free improvisations of this group on this double-CD veer off in so many directions as to be non-idiomatic. Taken from live shows in San Diego, San Francisco, Carmel Valley and KPBS, these recordings are filtered through the diverse backgrounds of this septet in progressive rock, free jazz, electronic and world music and modern classical. The nine lengthy pieces ...read more