Home » Jazz Articles » John Wolf Brennan: Momentum

92
Album Review

John Wolf Brennan: Momentum

By

Sign in to view read count
John  Wolf Brennan: Momentum
Momentum is all about bare bones, raw – down to the nitty-gritty improvisations from the Trio of pianist John Wolf Brennan, Gene Coleman who performs on bassclarinet and melodica and percussionist Christian Wolfarth. The liners offer several different interpretations of momentum or – for the moment-whether literal, philosophical or pertaining to musical form or composition.

From the opening statements of “Robots Don’t Cough” the duo of Brennan who performs on the prepared piano and percussionist Wolfarth delve into fragmented themes which at times seem surreal or in some instances, unsettling. Coleman’s often industrial or mechanical sounding bassclarinet work on “Situanos” suggests movement along with the fluctuating and quite unpredictable pulse provided by Wolfarth yet the music is often colorful and absorbing -for those who are willing to concentrate. This is not casual listening by any stretch of the imagination! On “Nadir”, the Trio extend notes, employ microtonal sounds and themes, deconstruct and reassemble subtle or faint melodies while Wolfarth fabricates a soft pulse utilizing brush strokes on his snare drum.

The music and group interplay heats up on “With a Knot-knowing Smile”, “Grrrvity” and “Harmolodic Outlaws” as the musicians engage in frantic conversation amid clattering percussion along with an almost cyclical sense of movement or “momentum”. It is a fair assumption that these gentlemen are feeding off one another which of course is a key component of successful improvisation yet the music and overall approach does beg for the listener’s undivided attention, otherwise it just won’t work! Momentum is musically if not intellectually demanding as if the trio were engaged in some meditative or trance like ritual yet a true sense of animated movement prevails.

Mission accomplished gentlemen!

Personnel

John Wolf Brennan, p, prepared p; Gene Coleman, b cl; Christian Wolfarth, perc.

Track listing: Robots don't cough / Poco Loco / Siluanos / To hoo wa bo hoo / Nadir / Melometris / (With a) knot-knowing Smile / Grrrvity / Harmolodic Outlaws / Zenith.

Album information

Title: Momentum | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Leo Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Overtones
Doug MacDonald
Acoustic Burnside
Duwayne Burnside
Tone Paintings
Craig Davis

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.