88

John Wolf Brennan / Gene Coleman / Christian Wolfarth: Momentum

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
This trio of pianist John Wolf Brennan, bass clarinetist Gene Coleman, and percussionist Christian Wolfarth are mainly interested on this disc in exploring sounds and textures and various possibilities of rhythm and dynamics. The Momentum of the title is honest and hard-won, for these performers are not relying on the already-realized potentials of steady rhythms for forward motion, but are attempting to establish new means of development and continuity.

Some of the moments in this momentum are quite simply astounding, as the three breath at one and find the most improbable divergences becoming moments of unexpected convergence. ("To hoo wa bo hoo" - "waste and void" in Hebrew - shows how much they can make out of nothing.) That's why this disc is so exciting: Coleman is a post-Dolphyan player who makes use of all that great master's discoveries in terms of overblowing and "noise effects." But it's how he uses them, especially in conjunction with Brennan and Wolfarth, that is so astounding in the acumen of his choices. Another Coleman, Ornette, once said in reference to "free jazz" that "it was when I discovered that I could make mistakes that I knew that I was onto something." That holds true - doubly true - here.

An outstanding example is the track with the tongue-in-cheek title "Harmolodic Outlaws." Coleman's percussive squibbles and blurts mesh with Wolfarth's textural layering, until Brennan prods the reedman outward into a quick-time duel that harks back to the spirals of bebop and to Ornette's free jazz that grew out of them, but never lapses into easy answers. The soundscape is utterly fresh and depends each moment on the active listening of the three musicians. A fine example of "free" improvisation.

And all in all, a rare treat.

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.

| Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Cloud Illusions" CD/LP/Track Review Cloud Illusions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Not This Time" CD/LP/Track Review Not This Time
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!