7

Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack: ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack: ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire is an epic four-part suite based on the fictitious songs found scattered throughout celebrated author Thomas Pynchon's early novels V., The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity's Rainbow. Oboist Kyle Bruckmann conceived this post-modern "musical phantasmagoria" as the first long-form composition written for Wrack, his experimental chamber jazz ensemble, employing an expanded version of the long-standing unit to realize the project's pan-stylistic scope.

A former Chicago resident, Bruckmann relocated to San Francisco after the turn of the Millennium, though the majority of Wrack's personnel is still based in the Windy City. Bruckmann recruited fellow Bay Area trumpeter Darren Johnston and former Wrack member trombonist Jeb Bishop to join the core lineup of bass clarinetist Jason Stein, violist Jen Clare Paulson, bassist Anton Hatwich, and percussionist Tim Daisy 99 for this expansive recording.

The suite's varied themes were composed by Bruckmann after studying the absurd, often genre-specific song lyrics found in the aforementioned novels. To effectuate this irreverently eclectic world-view, Bruckmann juxtaposes myriad old-fashioned vernacular forms with contrapuntal motifs and free-form improvisations, shifting between approaches and styles with mercurial glee, subtly implying Pynchon's referential literary gamesmanship with a slyly sophisticated sense of humor.

The album opens with a brusque "Overture" before the ensemble swings decisively into "Part One (V.)," led by Johnston's madcap Raymond Scott-inspired brass salvos and Daisy's roiling trap set variations. The marathon first part ultimately culminates in a swaggering blues vamp dominated by Bishop's garrulous trombone, with a slew of stylistic detours in-between, including an aleatoric diversion for reeds; a lush ballad interlude; and a jubilant polka featuring spirited call-and-response interplay.

The remainder of the opus pitches thither and yon. "Part Two (The Crying of Lot 49)" begins introspectively, emulating the book's paranoid conspiracies in neo-classical mode; Hatwich and Paulson's sinewy ruminations slowly morph into a sinuous groove for the leader's skirling oboe, eventually climaxing with a rollicking feature for Stein's vociferous bass clarinet and Daisy's exhilarating coda. The final section, "Part Three (Gravity's Rainbow)," vacillates wildly between the sacred and profane, encapsulating everything from nostalgic carnival tunes to bristling collective improvisations, concluding in an opulent, hymn-like chorale.

A devotee of Charles Ives and the maximalist aesthetics of the early Downtown scene, Bruckmann has long demonstrated a penchant for stylistic diversity, but never with the sort of accessible dynamism presented here. Fortified by his bandmates' inspired virtuosity, ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire is a post-modern masterpiece that stands as one of Bruckmann's most ambitious and fully-realized efforts to date.

Track Listing: Overture; Part One (V.); Part Two (The Crying of Lot 49); Part Three (Gravity's Rainbow).

Personnel: Kyle Bruckmann: oboe, English horn; Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Darren Johnston: trumpet; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Jen Clare Paulson: viola; Anton Hatwich: bass; Tim Daisy: percussion.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Singlespeed Music


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Akustik InventYours" CD/LP/Track Review Akustik InventYours
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "TriAngular Bent" CD/LP/Track Review TriAngular Bent
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!