All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

437

Ches Smith: Congs for Brums

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
This solo percussion set by Ches Smith offers ten songs full of depth and imagination. About half of the tunes on Congs for Brums feature the vibraphone, the other half drums and percussion; some songs include both. Smith wrote all the vibraphone pieces on piano and his drum pieces borrow ideas from the vibraphone songs, allowing the tunes to play off one another and create a uniquely beautiful cohesion.

Several songs deserve mention, including the first cut, "The Clarinet in B Flat." This haunting vibraphone piece is full of airy individual notes and sparkling runs. Smith is extremely sensitive to space, and he allows the notes to expand to their full range. The spareness of the piece shows why the vibes can be such a mesmerizing instrument.

"Homemade Posi, a drum/percussion piece, features agile stickwork and interesting rhythms. Again Smith allows for the strength of individual notes, with some cymbal hits expanding like a drop of water spreading out in a pond. "Homemade Counterpoint, another vibes tune, is a beautifully intricate piece where Smith creates layers by making full use of the vibes' long fadeouts.

One of the advantages of solo music is that the listener can really hear each instrument's subtleties. On Congs for Brums each hit of the mallet and every brushstroke and cymbal hit are given space to breathe. And yet Smith is also a very forceful player, particularly on drums, and the way he interweaves gentleness and intensity is what makes the recording so absorbing.

Track Listing: The Clarinet in B flat; My Motherfuckin' Roda!; Metal Vacation; Mental Vacation; Homemade Posi; Homemade Counterpoint; Don't Sweat the Smalls; Man P; My Last Coke; The Contra Alto Clarinet in E flat.

Personnel: Ches Smith: vibraphone, drums, percussion.

Title: Congs for Brums | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Free Porcupine Society

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Bell

The Bell

ECM Records
2016

buy
Hammered

Hammered

Clean Feed Records
2013

buy
 

Finally Out of My...

NuBOP RADIO-iTunes(internet radio)
2011

buy
Finally Out Of My Hands

Finally Out Of My...

Skirl Records
2010

buy
Unrock Series 21.01.2010

Unrock Series...

Unsound Recordings
2010

buy
Congs for Brums

Congs for Brums

Free Porcupine Society
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" CD/LP/Track Review Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Sun Sparkle" CD/LP/Track Review Sun Sparkle
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2018
Read "Red Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Red Planet
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 2, 2018
Read "Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Earth
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Roads Diverge" CD/LP/Track Review Roads Diverge
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 11, 2018