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Album Review

Jacob Garchik: Assembly


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Jacob Garchik: Assembly
As a consequence of the global pandemic, we have been schooled in the science of virology. Under certain conditions viruses mutate and reorganize into something completely new. That is bad. Mutations can also be heard in the adventurous music of Jacob Garchik. That is good. His trombone leads his Atheist Gospel Trombone Album, his big band, plus Banda de los Muertos, a Mexican brass band. He can be heard in ensembles lead by Anna Webber, Henry Threadgill, Mary Halvorson, John Hollenbeck, and Ingrid Laubrock.

Maybe it was the pandemic, or maybe it's just his transmogrifying nature that give us Assembly. Garchik brought his ensemble of saxophonist Sam Newsome, pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Thomas Morgan, and drummer Dan Weiss into the studio twice. First for a simple jam session, playing jazz, blues, and standards. He then spent three months cutting, pasting, reworking, transcribing, and composing around the various samples from the prior session. He then invited the same musicians back into the studio to perform music generated by his collaged overdubs and samples. The result is a post-production document that is as intimate as the trombone/bass duo that opens "Reverie" or the layers of "Homage," where we hear the quintet expand via overdubs into four trombones, two saxophones, four pianos, four basses, and three drummers. The musicians are not participating in a project like Teo Macero and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970), where the music captured in the studio is unrecognizable in the final product. With Assembly the cut and pastes serve the overall design with the musicians' input identifiable. Besides, Garchik's mix mastering is great fun.

"Idée Fixe" takes a Sacks' piano solo sample and loops with Newsome and Garchik mimicking the pattern. That composition and "Fanfare" could easily be mistaken for a Steve Lacy composition. "Pastiche" sounds like bebop complete with its metadata attached. The track pauses for a trombone solo only to accelerate to warp speed as its coda. "Collage" streams two separate tracks with different tempos, which create two great tastes that taste great together.

Track Listing

Collage; Pastiche; Bricolage; Homage; Fanfare; Idée Fixe; Fantasia; Impromptu; Reverie.


Jacob Garchik: trombone; Sam Newsome: saxophone, soprano; Jacob Sacks: piano; Dan Weiss: drums; Thomas Morgan: bass, acoustic.

Album information

Title: Assembly | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Yestereve Records

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