194

Surface Music: Live at the Knitting Factory 8.30.99

By

Sign in to view read count
The four members of Surface Music met while attending the small but esteemed Oberlin College in the Ohio town of the same name. This might not be the most common of origins for jazz groups but it should not take away from the exciting music that these four still emerging talents can make.

The title, Live at the Knitting Factory 8.30.99, of this self-released recording accurately sums up when and where this disc came about. There are 15 tracks, none of which receive on title on the packaging but the music stands on its own. Drummer Brian Chase moves around the kit like chef who is willing to produce a few enjoyable but not outstanding dishes in the pursuit of the one that is truly scrumptious. His playing alternates between relatively pedestrian avant grounded improvising and some more unique sounds such as the several flam and drag workouts that appear. Bassist Byrne Klay stands for his highly expressive playing including an outstanding arco technique. Rob Reich’s piano style is of course indebted to Cecil Taylor but so is just about every other avant pianist so that is no put down. Finally saxophonist Dave Reminick stays grounded in the blues even as he releases torrents of fury from his instrument. This mixed with his sometimes abstract playing makes for a quite enjoyable listen.

The real strength of this disc, however, is how these musicians interact with one another. My favorite moment is the 14th track where a fleet cymbal pattern by Chase gives way to a whirlwind like sound from Reich and Reminick with Klay always standing in the background but providing very helpful touches. That quickly ends and leads to a more open period where all of the four players are simultaneously experimenting at a frenzied pace. Then Reich’s spooking piano line signals a break down of sorts that gives each of the individual musicians a tad more room to experiment as they desire.

Live at the Knitting Factory 8.30.99 is by no means a perfect recording. Some flaws rest with the recording while others stem from the fact that at various the quartet seems to have set things up beautifully with but does not know where to go, as a group or as individuals, with it. Still, on the whole, this is an excellent recording that most any fan of creative improvised music will enjoy immensely.

Track Listing: There are 15 unnamed tracks.

Personnel: Brian Chase

| Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Walk Against Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Walk Against Wind
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Colors for the Masters" CD/LP/Track Review Colors for the Masters
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Live at Nectar’s" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Nectar’s
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 14, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!