All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

30

Ballister Trio: Mechanisms

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Stop me if you've heard this one before. A free improvising trio walks into a club and begins a live performance by ripping the ears off its listeners. No joke here, just that flexing muscular music isn't for the faint-at-heart. And certainly the trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is an audacious one.

Mechanisms is their second recording. Their first, Bastard String was self-produced in 2010 and, like this disc, recorded live. It is difficult to imagine this trio recording in a studio, rerecording or editing its music. The trio plays live, raw, and uninhibited.

The players are quite familiar and longtime collaborators in bands such as reed multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark's Territory Band. Rempis and Nilsson-Love can also be heard in School Days, and the Chicago saxophonist and cellist both play in Vandermark 5 and various local ensembles.

The three lengthy pieces heard here wander from quietude to noise. Each piece releases a cathartic rush of energy. Although the players forage and rummage about, it is not aimless; they are planning a course. "Claprock" opens with Nilssen-Love digging a foundation with his tom-toms as Rempis finds an intemperate balance on tenor. The pause for cymbal work and thundering bass drum is a prelude to the adrenaline rush to come. Lonberg-Holm's cello can pluck single notes or, via electronics, singe with a current that begs the question, is that a guitar?

Ballister Trio might start with the question Peter Brötzmann's Machine Gun (FMP, 1968) raised: what do we do with all this energy? Rage, yes; but there is more. Rempis, trading between various saxophones, plays until exhaustion, his ferocity incomparable. The trio burns, but not for the sake of combustion. In between the uproar is the meat, the viscera, and the heart of sound. This trio finds beauty in the maelstrom.

Track Listing: Release Levers; Claplock; Roller Nuts.

Personnel: Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello, electronics; Paal Nilsson-Love: drums, percussion.

Title: Mechanisms | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Cochonnerie

Cochonnerie

Aerophonic Records
2017

buy
Lattice

Lattice

Aerophonic Records
2017

buy
Perihelion

Perihelion

Aerophonic Records
2016

buy
Western Automatic

Western Automatic

Aerophonic Records
2015

buy
Spectral

Spectral

Aerophonic Records
2014

buy
From Wolves To Whales

From Wolves To Whales

Aerophonic Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Language CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Language
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley CD/LP/Track Review
Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Earth CD/LP/Track Review
Earth
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Vegir CD/LP/Track Review
Vegir
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Terry Riley In C" CD/LP/Track Review Terry Riley In C
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Live In London" CD/LP/Track Review Live In London
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Origins" CD/LP/Track Review Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Picking Up Steam" CD/LP/Track Review Picking Up Steam
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: May 12, 2018