Wisconsin-based cellist Matt Turner is apt to stretch his instrument of choice to the far-reaching limits of time, space, and practicality, whether performing in rock, jazz, or contemporary classical frameworks. With Crushed Smoke, the artist opts for the solo route via his acoustic and Yamaha electric cellos. Essentially, Turner serves up a series of mind-bending improvisations amid a cornucopia of variegated motifs throughout these fifteen cleverly articulated performances.
The cellist mimics what appear to be animal sounds or perhaps a cranky old codger on "Smoking Carnivore," as he also emulates the sound of heavy machinery amid concentrated patterns and dissonant lines on "Fractals." Otherwise, Turner injects percussive statements, haunting thematic opuses, austere classicism, and emotive dialogue into his rather compelling repertoire. Needless to state this is heady stuff, yet Turner's often daring and hypermodern concepts often bespeak a mark of distinction.
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.