There is a lot of movie going on: The night boatman at the moors, fifty foot ants, a crisis in chaos, gulls, babies, dark climes, eccentric mimes . . . Whatever you can fancy while listening to the unruly codes of saxophonist Sam Newsome and his equally idiosyncratic, first-time rhythm section of bassist Matt Smiley and drummer/percussionist Ron Coulter is happening, whether you can follow it or not, within the challenging realm of Free Wyoming.
Recorded live in March 2020, at the Metro Coffee Co. in Casper, Wyoming, Free Wyoming (only available in digital format) is the culmination of a three-day residency at Casper College. Dubbed the SN Trio, this performance may mark the first time these guys have played together but the immediacy of creation and the depth of their eloquent discourse encompasses years of free thought and investigation. Some will hear rambling, abstract noise while others, fortunately, will hear an elemental drama. A resolute curation of space and how one shapes it, presents it, and makes it livable. Or not. Because Free Wyoming is just one of those albums you can't take your ears off of. But, more importantly, your logic just won't turn away, imparting to the listener free rein to improvise as well! Demanding, tensile multi-phonics prop up or let fall the structures. Layers of harmonic expectancy scratch and claw. A story is told. Sound and time is manipulated or just doesn't exist. So what? It's a valid and vastly articulate argument in times such as these.
"Big Horn," "Owl Creek," "Black Hills," and "Wind River" all represent a taut theory of evolution: Layering, stripping, probing, praying. Dismantling. Dissonant. Dancing. Yes dancing. A scampering gambol, "Black Hills" hops and pivots; a pure finger-snapping swinger with enough spiky jabs and cascading lines from Newsome's spry soprano to keep things on that experimental edge Newsome eagerly inhabits. It is also a clear signal that, no matter how or what we think it is and how and why we respond to it, it is always good to dance.
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