All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Cleft's genre comes up as "unclassifiable in iTunes. While this is a little bit of a stretch, the Sepia Trio's mix of disparate energy music traditions, most audibly The Fringe, is impressive. Seth Meicht (sax), Brendan Dougherty (drums, electronics), and a new bassist, the much older Akira Ando, recorded Cleft in Dougherty's adopted home of Germany, both live and in the studio.
Just when the opening ten-minute "Losgelassen leads a listener to expect an album of aggressive sax-dominated free blowing, "Pre-moan, at just over one minute, confounds with an industrial sonic wash. The following "Moan, back up to eight minutes, is more in the mold of the opener, but with very interesting modulating long tones in its initial salvo. "Untitled is the sister piece to "Pre-moan, another electronic exploration led by Dougherty.
The final two cuts of Cleft, also the album's live recordings, are "Poultney and "Encoure. The first piece is substantial, close to eighteen minutes of the kind of brash force and vigor that bands from the aforementioned Fringe to newer groups like The Thing search for relentlessly. This segues, with a brief aside of audience appreciation, into the most melodic tune of the album. Nothing fancy, just a catchy vamp that allows the Sepia Trio to unload in under two minutes.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.