I Really Do Not See The Signal is the second Rob Price Quartet record, following At Sunset (Gutbrain, 2004), which featured Ellery Eskelin, Trevor Dunn and Joey Baron. This recording, with Jim Black replacing Baron on drums, is both more aggressive and adventurous in its approach.
Each piece on the album was written specifically for these musicians, who bring intensity and ingenuity to the recording. Price's understated and tasteful guitar work provides his band the space to explore all textural and dynamic extremes. Eskelin is inspiring, exquisite in tone and fearless in range, while ex-Mr Bungle bass man Dunn and downtown New York City drum hero Black offer unending drive.
The scope of Price's compositions is enlightening. Exploring elements of hardcore rock and explosive free jazz, the album presents a series of ideas which flow seamlessly into one another, leaving one in anticipation of where the music will go next. The opening title track sets the pace, centered around a spikey guitar motif, with Black and Dunn creating an unnerving false start through off-beat syncopation, before launching into a heavy as you like bass and drum brew, over which Eskelin spews out long, contorted lines.
Edgy ballads like "Dashiell Hammett & Barbara Pym" sit in glorious resistance against the brutal force of "Chambara." The disjointed "Girasol" and bop-inspired "Mango" are also highlights. Truly representative of the downtown New York sound, this record is essential listening for anyone into music with balls.
I Really Do Not See The Signal; Girasol; Modern Mongoose; Dashiell Hammett & Barbara Pym; Viae Ferae; Chambara; Mango; H.P. Lovecraft Slept Here.
Rob Price: guitar; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Trevor Dunn: bass; Jim Black: drums.