All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

19

Harvey Valdes: PointCounterPoint

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
It makes sense that experimental guitar hero and studio whiz David Torn would be involved to whatever extent on guitarist Harvey Valdes (Butch Morris, Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined) debut solo album. Torn mastered this studio session and the parallel here is that both guitarists tend to rip boundaries to shreds. Here, Valdes and violinist Sana Nagano most assuredly delve into PointCounterPoint jaunts, cloaked within an off-centered rumination of progressive metal, jazz rock, jazz improvisation and invigorating journeys, structured on ferocious interplay and mounting tension.

Valdes whips his guitar into submission as drummer Joe Hertenstein lays out the heavy-handed grooves as the band also intersperses complex, odd-metered unison choruses into the mix. For example, on "Shuffle," Nagano's somewhat dour opening passages are contrasted by the guitarist's lower register notes, including his bass parts. On that note, that lack of a bassist opens up the soundstage when also considering the leader's slaughtering distortion-laced chord voicings, special effects and blistering leads. Here, the drummer's weighty rock pulse segues the trio into a loping gait with Nagano's flourishing movements and Valdes flickering lines and grunge-style licks. It's a true cosmic breakdown—no doubt about it.

Many of these works project haunting buildups with full-fledged sonic assaults via the artists' highly active roles throughout the production. There are sparks flying all over the place, but this is by no means a free-form sonic blowout, as Valdes' pieces are framed on tangible rhythms and disparate motifs. But the guitarist's hammering and torrid phraseology amid the violinist's angular and streaming sojourns are occasionally offset on "Postural," which is crafted on a fractured and pleasantly neurotic tempo, marked by Valdes' fiercely ascending jaunts, elephantine clusters and Hertenstein's slapping drums and cymbals hits. Taken as a whole, the musicians' killer riffing and tightly woven ensemble work tenders the best of many unusual musical worlds, and for selfish reasons, the sooner Valdes gets back into the studio the better.

Track Listing: Coil; Shuffle; Finalized; 25 Bars; Untitled 21; Postural; Blackjack.

Personnel: Harvey Valdes: guitar; Sana Nagano: violin; Joe Hertenstein: drums.

Title: PointCounterPoint | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "West Coast Trio" CD/LP/Track Review West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Unleashed" CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "One Day It Will" CD/LP/Track Review One Day It Will
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "Infância" CD/LP/Track Review Infância
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Way Out West" CD/LP/Track Review Way Out West
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017