192

Pear: Extemp'ore

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Pear: Extemp'ore Most jazz albums involve at least a little bit of preparation: song selection, rehearsals, selection of sidemen and so on. Pear, on the other hand, is after something much more spontaneous and pure on its debut, Extemp'ore. The group is comprised of percussionist Rick Milne and keyboardist Nick Pierone. They enter the studio and play whatever comes to mind, sometimes inviting a few other musicians along for the ride, like bassists Jennifer Leitham and Jimmy Johnson). The songs are then constructed afterward by seamlessly stitching bits and pieces of the studio recordings together to create the tracks, similar to what Miles Davis did with Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969). The liner notes describe the process as like a tightrope walk (not exactly the most original metaphor for jazz), begging the question, given as much time as is required to put a record together: why would Pear favor something this spontaneous?

Well, there's something to be said for getting right to the heart of the creative process by eliminating the need for composing or working through a few set motifs, turning performance into pure creation. Pear essentially takes these bursts of creativity and fashions them into tracks afterwards, using technology, loops, and the like. The end result is a frequently interesting record that explores a lot of terrain: a free jazz burst of energy like "Session 15" is followed up by the trance-like background of "Tribute to Lorraine." There's a melodic sensibility that pops up from time to time, nothing that evolves into an actual song, but enough to ground the wanderings of the duo.

Pear seems split between straddling the avant-garde and the ambient; one track will feature Cecil Taylor-ish excursions while the next will feature lush keyboard soundscapes or exotic instruments like the koto. There's a natural tension between the flurries of notes in free jazz and the minimalist approach of much electronic music, a dichotomy that Pear is more than willing to explore. In addition, Pear seems willing to experiment with added vocals (nothing really in the name of lyrics; one track features answering machine messages while another features French so distorted as to be almost incomprehensible), tape loops, and even a rap (not a very good one, though.) But despite the tracks that might be found cumbersome and bewildering, there's always something new on the horizon, and Extemp'ore ends up being the kind of record that slowly unfolds its secrets.

Extemp'ore is a reminder of the joy and spirit in unfettered creativity and playing. At times the record does seem like a bunch of rehearsal tapes that present interesting ideas that should have been further developed. But who can argue with a duo that's so wickedly interested in taking its own style of playing and tinkering with every new idea that comes along?


Track Listing: Dewey Miles; The Frenchman; Jenn 2 Sect 1; Jimmy 1a; Von Schkinny; Session 15; Tribute to Lorraine; o8. c w; Carl Session 2; A Nod To Her Majesty; Prince Open; Fast Jenn; Black Socks.

Personnel: Rick Milne: percussion; Nick Pierone: keyboards; Sivad Selim: trumpet; Annie Wadhams, Mel Boyman, Cindy Wonderful; Polly and Clara Pierone: voices; Jennifer Leitham: bass; Jimmy Johnson: bass; Carl Verheyen: guitar; Prince Diabate: kora; Lorraine Milne: answering machine.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Pear Studio


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "District 6" CD/LP/Track Review District 6
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding The Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding The Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "The Getaway" CD/LP/Track Review The Getaway
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Stick Men + David Cross: Midori" CD/LP/Track Review Stick Men + David Cross: Midori
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!