90

Rent Romus: PKD Vortex Project

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Rent Romus: PKD Vortex Project Always on the move, Rent Romus has gone after the "exploratory ethic of science fiction" with this quintet recording dedicated to author Philip K. Dick. The title track leads off with a swirling, mysterious darkness, proceeding gradually to a full-on dark nightmare assault. After the crescendo finally reaches its crest, the group turns on a dime to shifting polyrhythmic funk. The beauty of dedicating a recording to a writer with the imagination of Dick is that you earn the freedom to spin the music off in a hundred different directions, and that's what Romus and his quintet do on PKD Vortex Project.

Adding to the mystery and energy of this recording are three electric instruments, with all the range and color that amplification makes possible: Doug Carroll's electric cello (a full-fledged voice with surprising warmth), Joel Harrison's electric guitar (which bears the brunt of the load in many of these tunes), and Tom Nunn's "electro-acoustic inventions" (some percussive, some metallic, all weirdly reverberant). Unfortunately, one of these three people has a very noisy amp; and while some folks may regard background amp hiss as a musical statement, it regularly clutters the music here and distracts from its flow.

Of course the prime mover in the PKD Vortex Project, Rent Romus, is also its most outspoken exponent. He renders a range of sound on the alto and soprano saxophones which bears striking resemblance to the span of the human voice. Equally comfortable singing or squawking, fluttering or testifying, Romus dominates this music with his versatility and outspokenly articulate playing. Listeners familiar with the NRG Ensemble (post-Russell) will note a number of striking resemblances between the PKD Vortex Project and the two NRG records led by Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams. Both groups display a welcome disrespect for stylistic boundaries, and both push the limits through restless sonic exploration.

The fourth track on this disc, which leaps forward through a humor-drenched shout of "funky-funky, funky- funky," offers particular resemblance to the raucous spirit of the NRG Ensemble. But the PKD Vortex Project remains its own distinct entity of imagination and bold determination. As a tribute to the imagination of the "dark master of pulp fiction," this disc does Dick justice.

Track Listing: Vortex PKD; Ape of God; Third Eye; Nobody likes the anti-septic lady; March of the 80 foot Phils; Return of the Wild Martian Fur; Quest for Reality part 1; Quest for Reality part 2.

Personnel: Doug Carroll: electric cello; Joel Harrison: electric guitar; Dave Mihaly: drums and percussion; Rent Romus: alto & soprano saxophones.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Edge Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Hera" CD/LP/Track Review Hera
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!