132

Mike Clark/Paul Jackson/Marc Wagnon: Conjunction

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Clark/Paul Jackson/Marc Wagnon: Conjunction As jazz/rock fusions go, Conjunction is something special: it completely refuses to fit into either category. The arrangements are too tight and the improvisation is too sophisticated to label this disc as rock, but the grooves are so backbeat-driven that one could never call it jazz. (Make a special exception for "The Unknown Shuffle," which is quite clearly exactly what it says it is: a blues shuffle.)

Drummer Mike Clark plays a dominant role defining the group sound on Conjunction. His simmering rhythms propel improvisers forward, maintain interest through arranged sections, and occasionally burst into full flower in scattered drum solos. Since Conjunction is so grounded in rhythm, Clark's role is especially important. Of course, the rest of the band includes all-stars from all different walks of life. Particularly bright orbs include guitarist Dave Fiuczynski and saxophonist Chris Speed. Fiuczynski generally plays a respectful supporting role, but when he unleases his axe (as on "Gus") he propels the group into otherworldly space. Speed, who has a lot of experience playing avant jazz, also brings a welcome sense of forward-looking melodicism to the group. The compositions on Conjunction, mostly originals, cover the ground from dreamy melancholy ("Horta-Culture") to edgy funk ("East West") and restless energy ("Faster than Light"). The arrangements offer a balance between notated themes interspersed with individual improvisation. The only drawback to Conjunction is the relative restraint shown by soloists, who don't get a lot of time to stretch out. But perhaps that's not the point: this is a group record, and a tight one at that.


Track Listing: Faster Than Light; Metamorphic; East West; Conjunction; Long Shot; Draconian Devonian; Gus; Horta-Culture; Light Step; The Unknown Shuffle.

Personnel: Mike Clark: drums; Paul Jackson: bass; Marc Wagnon: vibraphone and MIDI vibes; Dave Fiuczynski: guitar; Jed Levy: tenor saxophone; Josh Roseman: trombone; Chris Speed: tenor saxophone and clarinet.

Title: Conjunction | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Bucky Ball Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Walk Against Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Walk Against Wind
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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