Home » Jazz Articles » I Heart Lung: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet

199
Album Review

I Heart Lung: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet

By

Sign in to view read count
I Heart Lung: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet
Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet is a title which might not seem out of place in a collection of metaphysical poetry, although whilst such poetry appeals largely to the intellect, the music of I Heart Lung appeals to the emotions.

Nevertheless, the metaphysical poets and guitarist Chris Schlarb and drummer Tom Steck do share some common ground; the former challenged the conventional imagery of the 17th century lyric and experimented with rhythm whilst the latter duo are in their own way questioning modern conventions, albeit of a musical kind, and in the process they are creating music as beautiful as it is challenging.

"Maleem Ya Maleem pitches up-tempo through light-of-touch drum patterns against ghostly, feather-light guitar lines; if guitarist Bill Frisell had replaced Jerry Garcia in the Grateful Dead then their more exploratory music might have sounded something like this.

The contrast between hypnotic, driving percussion and susurrus, meditative guitar is a feature of the music. Similarly, sustained drone-like sounds, whether they are of the six-stringed or electronic variety, color much of the music. When all these elements come together as on "If I Were a Young Man Now and, most notably, on "Moving Through Color 1, the music is quite epic in nature.

The intervention on a couple of tracks by Peter Chan on clarinet and alto saxophone adds some colorful improvisation. On "Lycanthrapy, guitar and saxophone engage in chatter which is at times playful, argumentative and then manic, like Punch and Judy on a bender. It is, however, overwhelmingly the union of Schlarb and Steck which defines the spirit of the music. Their ability to communicate so much with such a minimalist approach to music making is enviable.

Meditative yet driving, understated and epic at the same time, this is music which courses through the veins as soothingly as an opiate and as sharply as electricity.

In tribute to one of metaphysical poetry's greatest exponents, singer Van Morrison sang: "Rave on, John Donne... —ditto Chris Schlarb and Tom Steck. Rave on down through time and space, rave on, rave on, rave on.

Track Listing

Maleem Ya Maleem; The Perennial Affair; If I Were a Young Man Now; Lycanthropy; Useless, Useless; Three (Siblings); Moving Through Color 1; Song of the Boatman on the River Roon; Wheelchair Graduation; Retrospective; Moving Through Color 2.

Personnel

Chris Schlarb: electric guitar, electronics; Tom Steck: acoustic drums, percussion; Peter Chan: clarinet, alto saxophone.

Album information

Title: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sounds Are Active


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz since 1995, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

The Pan American Nutcracker Suite
Joe McCarthy's Afro Bop Alliance Big Band
The Power Station Sessions
The Pat Petrillo Big Rhythm Band
Sera Niebla
Nicolas Politzer
Xaybu: The Unseen
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.