Cacophony! Cataclysm! Clamor! Construction! Reconstruction! Deconstruction! These are some of the signposts that lie ahead while listening to the relentless siege of Bagman Live at Cafe Oto.
The sonic destroyer, British pianist Pat Thomaswho at age 60 is beginning to cut a wider swath through the free jazz world then ever before spearheads fellow raconteurs, drummer Raymond Strid and saxophonist Sture Ericson, through a senses-clearing blowout of maximum proportions- Call the music what you will, even call it non-music or noise if you must, but this is a sound not to be turned away from.
Recorded live in London at Cafe Oto, in September 2019, the four songs?, (tracks?, performances? whirlwinds?) which make up Bagman Live at Cafe Oto are startling displays of shock and awe, meant to twist, twist and re-twist any and all the tidy definitions employed to meekly explain what is going on here. It is total devastation with a kinky undercurrent of something resembling something else, only to result in something else altogether.
While Ericson squeals and squawks, screeches and breaches, Strid tumbles madly, head over heels, keeping a frenetic pace, (or an equally frenetic silence) waiting for another fit of bombast from Thomas. And they come, hard and fearless, in a barrage of dissonance and thunder. Unruly and disruptive, Bagman Live at Cafe Oto will leave listeners exhausted yet wanting more. It is a thrilling madness not for the faint-hearted or classicists among us.
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