There is an underlying, unsettled tone in the music of Philadelphia bassist Sandy Eldred which can only be likened to earthquakes and their subsequent tremors. Just when you think you are on solid ground the whole landscape shifts, the whole perspective tacks left, bends right, veers down the wrong center lane and u-turns. It is quite intriguing really, which makes listening to Impactthe third release by Eldred and his U.S.E. Trio of drummer Matt Scarano and saxophonist Andrew Urbinaa truly compelling way to spend some of your newly-gifted downtime. An acronym based on each last name, U.S.E. is haunted by refractions of trios past as they swirl, touch down, move on. Make way for the ever-widening-circle logic which is brimming at the very heart of Impact's four wiry compositions, (Urbina's "Row House" and "Evening Chorale"; Eldred's "Terakawa" and "Impact") each loaded with an unabashed rock energy and blues-old cognizance that the music goes where it goes no matter our concrete notions to the contrary.
It is free jazz within tight seismic margins as Urbina economically snake charms his way through the non-stop rhythmic turbine stoked with wild abandon by Eldred and Scarano. "Terakawa" insinuates itself into consciousness with an anxious ostinato which Urbina's circular plea rallies over, as if trying to bring light into the dark recesses. It then becomes a chugging train that Urbina pulls the reins on by recounting the original head only to end in a whisper. Nimble muscle rules the day on the peppery "Row House." The sense that everything is not what it seems permeates "Evening Chorale," as each player wrestles with the other, pulling the music this way and that. Impact culminates on itself with an frenzied, fevered tug-of-war which loops you back to the beginning for another exhilarating listen.
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