317

Positive Catastrophe: Garabatos Volume One

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Positive Catastrophe: Garabatos Volume One This large New York City ensemble is co-led by cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and the less well-known percussionist Abraham Gomez-Delgado, both of whom divide its original material between themselves. Despite potential difficulties in convening their 10-piece lineup, the band has been gigging steadily around the city, refining its carefully controlled form of anarchy.

The biggest components are Latin and avant jazz, and it's therefore tempting to assign these halves to the band's leader-composers. The end product isn't predictable, though, as the interconnections of the various elements are continually writhing away from the compartmentalizer. The writing mostly encourages solos to take place in a competitive atmosphere, with ascendancy of each individual player only possible until they're shunted aside by another. The structures are such that the horns are bustling and charging ahead, sometimes delivering themes and at others firing off stray shots.

On the opening "Plena Organization," Bynum is crackling with a caustic ferocity, chased by a continually pulsing bass line that binds all the frantic parts together. The erhu playing of Jen Shyu isn't completely upfront, but her traditional Chinese two-stringer adds a very distinctive quality to the spread, while her vocals are a central element of the four-part "Travel" suite, which is dedicated to Sun Ra. It employs neither too much nor too little of his signature motifs.

There's an equality between free stretches, riffing syncopations and nostalgic swing balladry, stretching from ballroom glide to belligerent barging. Matt Bauder's tenor saxophone might be at its most startlingly velvety on one tune, but then the next number will rear up with the distorted flash of Pete Fitzpatrick's guitar. When "Travels" returns towards disc's end, its third and fourth parts make up the longest track, with a live Zebulon set spliced in to climax. Formlessness vies with jumpin' throughout its procession and this is probably the best way to sum up the strengths of the Positive Catastrophe sound.


Track Listing: Plena Organization; Travels Parts 1&2; Metro Mono; Plena Seguiro; Stillness/Life; Post Chordal; Plena Quicksand Monument; Revamped; Travels Parts 3&4; Contenido Adentro.

Personnel: Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn; Abraham Gomez-Delgado: percussion, voice; Jen Shyu: erhu, voice; Mark Taylor: French horn, mellophone; Reut Regev: trombone, flugelbone; Matt Bauder: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet; Michael Attias: baritone saxophone; Pete Fitzpatrick: guitar; Alvaro Benavides: electric bass; Keith Witty: acoustic bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Factory Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Factory Girl
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Play All the Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Play All the Notes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!