All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

228

Russ Lossing / Mat Maneri / Mark Dresser: Metal Rat

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
A focused session of collective free improvisation conceived by pianist Russ Lossing, Metal Rat features the spontaneous interplay of three sympathetic musicians. Joined by violist Mat Maneri and bassist Mark Dresser, Lossing booked a recording studio for a mere four hours to instill a "real sense of urgency" to the proceedings. The ensuing session benefits from this pre-imposed constraint by lending an air of palpable tension to the work. Full of simmering intensity and dramatic flair, this is dark, intuitive chamber jazz at its finest.

The album is composed of four trio excursions, four duets and two distinctive originals written by Lossing, the blistering "Turn" and the introspective "Is Thick With." The majority of the pieces are brief sketches, from two to four minutes in duration, with "Ch'ien" the only exception. At fourteen minutes, it is the album's tour-de-force, an epic suite of turbulent emotional transformation, circumnavigating jittery agitation, hopeful optimism and bittersweet resignation.

Throughout the record, Lossing reveals a shadowy, modernist sensibility; melancholy pointillism, spectral glisses, pulverizing clusters, and searing embers erupt from his keys. Maneri's microtonal viola technique is singularly expressive, a hollow, crying tone that glides from mournful to caustic. Dresser's resonant bass playing is typically magnificent; his sinewy arco work is especially plangent.

The trio stretches formal concepts of accompaniment, call-and-response and counterpoint with clairvoyant elasticity. No one player dominates as each responds in turn with confirmation or confrontation. Their intuitive declarations spur on new avenues for exploration. The session unfolds gradually with chamber-like restraint, punctuated by sudden interjections of taut dissonance.

Employing a monochromatic palette of deep chiaroscuro, the album alternates between unsettling agitation and somber melancholy. Metal Rat is a subtle, rewarding document of free improvisation from three acknowledged masters of the form.


Track Listing: Coming To Meet; Ch'ien; Turn; Damp(ness); Is Thick With; Dry(ist); Metal Rat; Hidden Lines; Fire Monkey; Their Blood is Black and Yellow.

Personnel: Russ Lossing: piano; Mat Maneri: viola; Mark Dresser: bass.

Title: Metal Rat | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Drum Music

Sunnyside Records
2012

buy
Oracle

Oracle

Hat Hut Records
2011

buy
 

Line-Up

OmniTone
2008

buy
Line Up

Line Up

Hatology
2008

buy
Metal Rat

Metal Rat

Clean Feed Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Apocalypse Live" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse Live
by Martin Longley
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Lighthouse" CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Bethany Project" CD/LP/Track Review Bethany Project
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Dance of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Dance of Time
by Jeff Winbush
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Steal Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Steal Your Heart
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 2, 2017