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...

205

Ergo: Multitude, Solitude

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
This is a trio working the electro-acoustic margins, as the instrumental line-up might suggest; and whilst Ergo's music often flirts with ambient notions, there is equally a predominant air of unease about their work, as if by mutual consent they can only reach a kind of uneasy rapprochement with both silence and the moment.

The air of the unresolved—which is also sometimes symptomatic of their work—could similarly be the outcome of shared resolve. Indeed without that air the lengthy "Vessel" might congeal into something only too ambient in its very lack of harmonic and melodic development. As it is, this is music which for all of the rhythmic impetus generated by drummer Shawn Baltazor tends to loom as much as it has momentum. Brett Sroka's trombone represents an all too human voice in the midst of dead and near-dead keyboard embellishments, but the overall effect is tantalizing in its indeterminacy.

Downbeat music serves its own ends, of course, and there's no reason to believe that it necessarily follows some induced high. "Endlessly (Multitude, Solitude)" makes the point. Here, keyboardist Carl Maguire—the man who's responsible for some of the stimulating releases of recent years with his band Floriculture—generates all kinds of excuses for stasis with near-static, repetitive keyboard figures, even as the music develops a kind of distinctly non-linear flow. The result is almost an uneasy compromise between two arguably irreconcilable notions, but any tension that's generated doesn't stem from that but rather from the fact that the trio is adept at thinking as one. The outcome of the collective ideal is not so much a headlong plunge as it is a seemingly infinite capacity for reflection, even while the music never drifts into the background.

There isn't mood music here either, regardless of whatever that ragged notion might imply. The relative sweetness of "She Haunts Me" gives the lie to the title; in the midst of electronic filigrees, Maguire and Sroka first compete to offer a lead, but then, by mutual agreement, seem to abandon the notion as too facile. When the music takes up some liquid space it's with a certain resolve. The noise of the trio is subdued to the point of no return, but that point is skillfully avoided, as if they know the territory too well to want to go there.


Track Listing: Rana Sylvatica; Vessel; She Haunts Me; Little Shadow; Endlessly (Multitude, Solitude); Actuator.

Personnel: Brett Sroka: trombone, computer; Carl Maguire: Rhodes electric piano, Prophet synthesizer, electronic effects; Shawn Baltazor: drums.

Title: Multitude, Solitude | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
As subtle as tomorrow

As subtle as tomorrow

Cuneiform Records
2016

buy
If Not Inertia

If Not Inertia

Cuneiform Records
2012

buy
Multitude, Solitude

Multitude, Solitude

Cuneiform Records
2010

buy
Multitude, Solitude

Multitude, Solitude

Cuneiform Records
2009

buy
Quality Anatomechanical Music Since 2005

Quality...

Actuator
2006

buy
Not Yet Available

Not Yet Available

Self Produced
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach" CD/LP/Track Review The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline Oliveros" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by James Nadal
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Dream Within A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Inminente" CD/LP/Track Review Inminente
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 26, 2018