116

Boundry Issues: Beginnings And Endings

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Boundry Issues: Beginnings And Endings There was something wrong with jazz-fusion of the 1970s and 80s. You could just instinctively feel it. But what was missing? After Miles Davis ushered in electric instruments (or was it the electrocution of jazz?) with Bitches Brew, the doors flew open to all sorts of characters. There was the electric violin of John Luc Ponty, Stanley Clark’s thundering jazz-funk bass, and even an electric saxophone played by Eddie Harris. Jazz had become what rock made readily apparent, talent and musicianship become less important than glitter and crowd-pleasing flash. The showmanship of jazz ‘bar-walking’ was back in the form described in rock as ‘guitar face,’ where a pained expression of intensity substituted for actual creative music. Rock audiences weaned on Jimi Hendrix playing from his knees, now expected the same of their jazz musicians. Remnants of guitar face can be found in jazz today, labeled ‘lite,’ or ‘smooth’ jazz, just look for slick hairstyles and posing, lots of posing.

All that is electric in jazz is not evil. Wayne Horvitz & Zony Mash, Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Steve Coleman’s post M-BASE come to mind. So does this little known (hopefully not for long) trio known as Boundary Issues. Made up of the rhythm section of the collective band The Tone Sharks, BI plays jazz-fusion. Correction, their jazz fusion is an amalgam of electricity and spontaneous composition. Noise this ain’t. The band, well versed in modern music, delivers freshness in sound, sans cliches and I suspect sans guitar face. Their electric bass/guitar/drum, more suited to garage rock than jazz, opts for subtlety over noise. In the center is drummer Dave Storrs, an accent-oriented rhythm master that colors rather than beats, utilizing cymbals over toms. Bassist Page Hundemer’s playing resurrects the sound of Jaco Pastorious but with less showmanship, more intelligence. Guitarist Steve Willis conjures the world of electric Miles, the blues of James Blood Ulmer, and a little Sonny Sharrock tossed in there for meat.

The closest comparison to this trio is the now defunct Splatter Trio. Both bands treat improvised, spontaneous creation as an opportunity to make music, not noise. Comfortable enough with each other, the music grooves. This is street jazz. Appealing enough on a first glance, it’s accessible. But there’s also the aspect of spontaneity here that makes this rewarding for connoisseurs of creative jazz at the highest level. Louie Records: www.peak.org/~louierec

Track List:Let’s Not Say We Did; Marvin’s Garden; I Heard It Differently; Get After; T.G.T.; So, You Going To School; Disturber (And Built To Sty That Way); Mountains In My Dreams; I Hear Bells; We’ll Dance With Anyone.


Personnel: Steve Willis

Title: Beginnings And Endings | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Louie Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Inside The Moment" CD/LP/Track Review Inside The Moment
by James Nadal
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review Prague After Dark
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Out 'N' In" CD/LP/Track Review Out 'N' In
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Dream Within A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.