158

Thom Gossage Other Voices: In Other Words

Matt Marshall By

Sign in to view read count
Thom Gossage Other Voices: In Other Words According to drummer Thom Gossage, the tracks on this, the fifth release by his Other Voices ensemble, are launched from a single figure—anything from a simple melodic line, to fully composed pieces of music, rhythm scores, electronic soundscapes, chants and poems—that are subsequently abstracted through an assemblage process. The idea came to him after viewing a painting by choreographer Isabelle Van Grimde, and seeing the process she followed to achieve abstraction of a visual figure.

The group has retained the same lineup since 2005, when guitarist Steve Raegele joined, and there is, indeed, a sonic chemistry in the pieces here—an essential ingredient for music that lacks a clearly charted course. That chemistry keeps the record well-hinged, even when its guiding wires are not readily discernable. Gossage allows for expansive fields to be filled by all players with results, conversely, of an insular quality—music both infinite and contained like the mind. The pieces might even be termed meditative, if meditation can rightly be said to harbor the intellectually aggressive explorations of a caffeine-fueled, stress-riddled brain.

Much of the music seems to stem from anxious, wired individuals, and is often out-and-out alarming, most notably on "Counter Counter Clockwise," which resounds with a repetitive group throbbing (a flashing red light, to think visually) that then dissects into individual yet simultaneous lines of warning. "Chemins II" is something of the album in microcosm, opening as it does with Raegele's magnetic, distorted shreddings that draw the others in kind, only to relax time and again for more considered, individual musings before the tension ratchets up once more.

The title track, which opens the record, begins on the lone twanging of a Jew's harp that Gossage soon layers with an electronic clanging to sound in echo. Later, after Raegele adds Bill Frisell-like high, lonesome tones and saxophonists Frank Lozano and Remi Bolduc twist energetic, contrapuntal lines, Gossage rumbles in on drums with bassist Miles Perkins in stride, the pair fraying the music and considerably cranking up the urgency and tension. That give-and-take, layering and twisting quality flows throughout the album, with each instrumentalist also equally concerned with exploring his individual palette.

There's much to be found in these intricate, improvisational ramblings, and repeated listenings allow for wide adventuring through the mental brush. At close to an hour in length, however, a start-to-finish trek can be draining. And the album could have done without its closer, "Tom Arthur's Dinner"—a Clockwork Orange-sounding recitation that sums the whole as a kind of musical smorgasbord. Still, the album is dense yet inventive; hypnotic but never sluggish. A rewarding sonic experience.


Track Listing: Id Est (In Other Words); Hic et Ubique (Here and Now); Counter Counter Clockwise; Ab Infra Prologue; Ab Infra (From Within); Inari; Your Number(s); Chemins II; Tom Arthur's Dinner.

Personnel: Steve Raegele, guitar; Miles Perkin, bass; Thom Gossage, drums, electronics, percussion; Frank Lozano, tenor and soprano saxophone; Rémi Bolduc, alto saxophone.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Nwayo" CD/LP/Track Review Nwayo
by James Nadal
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 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!