Guitarist Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Massacre, Arte Quartett) is one the earth's greatest improvisers. He is joined on Lantskap Logic by a pair of attuned futuristspipe organist, educator Evelyn Davis (Cheer Accident), and saxophonist/composer Phillip Greenlief (They Might Be Giants)to record this album at the Mills College chapel, which houses the pipe organ, and seemed to be an ideal venue for this rather utopian electro-acoustic musical event.
Soon after this recording, Frith retired from his position as Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. With his expert improvisers, who share equal billing on this democratic engagement, he produces droning and quivering notes across a slightly jagged plane. Greenlief's extended techniques, saw-toothed squeals and microtonal output morphs into the grand schema with a chameleon-like presence atop Davis' undulating and earthy pipe organ parts, often providing the underbelly of these works. Essentially, the trio generates striking imagery amid subtly weaving treatments and the respective artists' cunning, yet not overpowering maneuvers.
At times it's not easy trying to differentiate as to who is doing what. And that's part of the beauty of this enthralling set. Davis' patterns and sub-motifs spark notions of molecular disturbances, or perhaps the band is mimicking the arrival of an alien spacecraft or some other far-fetched notion. But on "Your Ever Loving Arms" the saxophonist raises the pitch with steely medium and upper-register notes atop Frith's coarse titanium-laced guitar lines. Here, the musicians project a vibe that signals the onset of something catastrophic as they elevate the fear factor through the power of their collective imaginations. Moreover, they execute clustering choruses and swing matters into an abrupt ending, where time and space no longer exist.
Overall, your imaginations can run wild here, as the band integrates an aural vibe that projects a mind-altering state of affairs. Hence, the message is in the details that hover along like an electro-organic apparition.
With Us Or Without Us; Your Ever Loving Arms.
Evelyn Davis: pipe organ; Fred Frith: electric guitar; Phillip Greenlief: alto and tenor saxophones.
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