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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs & Frequency Response: Lost & Found

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Tom Abbs is a multi-instrumentalist who, besides violin and didgeridoo, plays bass, tuba and cello on this CD. He has enlivened the free jazz scene in New York, not only through his collaborations with Cooper-Moore and Steve Swell among others, but with his music as well. He thinks with a vivid imagination and as such injects his compositions with melody, free falling notes, jazz harmony and a picturesque development. The last may well spring from his role as film-maker.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs and Frequency Response: Lost + Found

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Rarely does a recording's clarity of purpose come through in one listening, but bassist Tom Abbs and Frequency Response's Lost + Found fits the bill. The significance of this record originates in the brevity of each of bassist Abbs' eighteen pieces--lasting, on average, only slightly over three minutes, with the longest being six and the shortest about two.

The key to plugging into this album is recognizing that the major concern is the expression of one musical concept after another. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs: Lost & Found

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It is possible to respond to Tom Abbs & Frequency Response's Lost & Found with eyes wide shut, ears completely unlocked and a body ready to leap up and dance to some of its eighteen randomly arranged musical fragments. There is a cerebral angle here, most likely deliberate on the part of the artist. It has to do with the arrangement of the fragments--the songs, that is. Some are inspired by visual images and intended to sound like aural depictions ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs & Frequency Response: Lost + Found

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Frequency Response's third outing is a study in diversity via a stylistic group sound that touches upon many genres. Cellist/tubaist Tom Abbs is the director of operations throughout a program that integrates chamber jazz, free jazz, and noise-shaping activities amid many other shades of Western song forms.

The group abides by a structured approach to the core compositional underpinnings, but partake in mini, cosmic meltdowns and bustling rhythmic metrics. It's a turbulent journey at times, where the majority ...

INTERVIEW

Tom Abbs: Combining Music and Film

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Bassist, composer and film-maker Tom Abbs has enlivened not only the ensembles in which he has played, but also the New York City free jazz scene with his brand of musical activism, through the Jump Arts Foundation. An accomplished instrumentalist on tuba as well as bass, he has collaborated with downtown stalwarts Daniel Carter, Steve Swell, Cooper-Moore, Jemeel Moondoc, Assif Tsahar, Andrew Lamb and Warren Smith among many others.

He boasts a distinctive compositional conception manifest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cooper-Moore/Tom Abbs/Chad Taylor: Triptych Myth

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Triptych Myth opens with a rockin' rhythmic attack, topped with a stunted, lurching melody that recalls Monk and Cecil Taylor more or less equally, yet carves out a little stylistic territory all its own. No mean feat. If Monk had ever made the leap to free improvisation, some of the piano sounds on this disc hint at what might've resulted. Even 'The Fox,' a basically straight ahead reggae piece, relentlessly continues this theme, imagining the great bop architect as a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cooper-Moore/Tom Abbs/Chad Taylor: Triptych Myth

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An enigmatic performer whose style encompasses everything from boogie woogie to avant jazz, pianist/composer Cooper-Moore joins his trio to deliver a diverse set with Triptych Myth that still, somehow, manages to maintain an integrity and clear direction in sound.

Aside from being a pianist and composer, Cooper-Moore is an educator and creator of musical instruments. His performances are true audience experiences; along with the performance, the audience may find themselves involved in the creation of a new musical instrument from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cooper-Moore/Tom Abbs/Chad Taylor: Triptych Myth

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The new disc by Cooper-Moore’s trio brings to mind the lyrics from “Life Is Grand” by the rock band Camper Van Beethoven:

And life is grand And I will say this at the risk of falling from favor With those of you who have appointed yourselves To expect us to say something darker

You see, pianist Cooper-Moore, bassist Tom Abbs, and drummer Chad Taylor explore the rhythmic nature of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs & Frequency Response: Conscription

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Chances are any sort of artistic enterprise that operates outside the mainstream relies on word of mouth for its survival. Grass roots conscription has been integral to creative improvised music since its beginnings. Bassist/tubaist Tom Abbs knows this truism first hand, having been a founding father of Jump Arts, a non-profit enclave of artists and musicians that seeks to foster free expression by operating on its own terms.

As it turns out, the group is but one ...


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