Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Plymouth: Plymouth

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Chris Lightcap, Gerald Cleaver, and Mary Halvorson. The simple mention of these five names is probably enough to frighten some people away from this album and make others rush toward it with open ears. Each one of the aforementioned musicians has a reputation for being a musical provocateur, pushing buttons, pushing the limits and challenging minds and ears with intelligent abandon. The music they make together under the banner of Plymouth could be dubbed free jazz, noise art, collective creation, or any number of similarly vague but telling things. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what category this gets filed under. What matters is the musical mettle that this band demonstrates during the three lengthy improvised numbers that make up its eponymous debut.

While this marks the first release from this quintet, various long-term connections have been made between its members over the years, and guitarist Joe Morris stands as the central figure in the mix. Morris and keyboardist Jamie Saft go back twenty years and collaborated on Slobber Pup (RareNoise, 2013), drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Chris Lightcap have worked together in Morris' quartet and various other scenarios for quite some time, and guitarist Mary Halvorson studied with Morris once upon a time. Saft notes that "this group was actually conceived as a way to bring together Joe Morris and Mary Halvorson with a rhythm section of long standing friends and colleagues." This means nobody really needed to get acquainted with anybody else here, but that doesn't mean things sound comfortable and relaxed; actually, it's quite the opposite.

The album opens on the twenty-minute "Manomet," which starts out with B movie extra-terrestrial sounds that hint at the danger ahead. From there, things build, as a massive sonic cloud slowly mushrooms out, destroying everything in its path. The tension and terror recede, but not before some serious damage is done. The thirteen-minute "Plimouth" starts soft, but hits harder in some ways. Some rhythmic stakes are put into the ground on this one, with Cleaver scaffolding around the sound and the fury. The final number—the twenty-nine minute "Standish"—is both trippy and terrifying. Ambient paranoia hangs in the cloudy atmosphere and uncertainty lurks around every corner. A barrage of sound does its damage at one point, but the interest really comes with the blips and static that follow the storm. Saft's organ-ic anarchy, and the chaos that comes with it as the end nears, is also a gas. Plymouth really knows how to rile in style.

Track Listing: Manomet; Plimouth; Standish.

Personnel: Jamie Saft: organ, echoplex piano, Fender Rhodes; Joe Morris: electric guitar; Chris Lightcap: electric bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Mary Halvorson: electric guitar.

Title: Plymouth | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "DICE" CD/LP/Track Review DICE
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Cherry ‎– Sakura" CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017

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!