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KLiP Trio: Herman Sonny Blount (Omniversal Ambassador)

Glenn Astarita By

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Recorded live between 1998-1999 at the Charles Ives Hall and Warren Auditorium in Rohnert Park, CA., KLiP Trio used live to two-track, all-tube analogue equipment and fittingly, produced it in vinyl format. Sure enough, that grand old analogue luster proves to be an asset on this homage to the late bandleader and "Omniversal Ambassador," Herman Sonny Blount, aka Sun Ra.

The musicians collectively use oddball implements, including singing bowls, whirly tubes, a soprano musical saw and other uncommon contrivances to supplement electronics, keys and prepared tapes. This premium vinyl pressing captures the venue space, where the trio enacts a bizarre, avant-garde format, complete with airy and edgy patterns, morphed with fluid noise-shaping maneuvers.

It's an acoustic-electric gala that spans imagery of a hazy dream amid semblances of disorientated cartoon characters, shimmying along to free jazz movements and harrowing effects. The artists also inject birdcalls, fuzz-toned keyboard phrasings and frantic dialogues while hearkening catastrophic notions and a haunting pace trek during "Your Shades and Beret." On this piece, special guest and tenor saxophonist Josh Allen adds to the excitement as the unit switches gears with the piece "Nothing Like A Samba," which is designed upon windswept electronics and a straightforward synth melody.

The trio uses guerilla tactics to contrast some free-form ethereal moments amid the heated avant-jazz schema. Sure enough, Blount would be proud of this trio's acceleration of the cosmologic jazz factor into previously unexplored galaxies of our respective psyches. Here, the musicians' shifty imaginations and broad vernaculars impart a mélange of cunning propositions.


Track Listing: Side 1: Wehrman (for David Wehrman); Herman Sonny Blount; Everything (for Lisle Ellis and Tony Williams). Side 2: Your Shades and Beret; Nothing like a Samba; Ellis Island.

Personnel: Elliot Kallen: piano, percussion, electronics; John Lauffenburger: bass, electronics; Garth Powell: drums, percussion; John Allen: tenor saxophone (S2#1).

Title: Herman Sonny Blount (Omniversal Ambassador) | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Edgetone Records

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