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 Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Introverted Cultures CD/LP/Track Review
Introverted Cultures
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Flyway CD/LP/Track Review
Flyway
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Crime Zone CD/LP/Track Review
Crime Zone
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Begin the Agora CD/LP/Track Review
Begin the Agora
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Time Like This CD/LP/Track Review
Time Like This
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2018
Read "Vera" CD/LP/Track Review Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Love + Time + Divination" CD/LP/Track Review Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Non é Prohibito" CD/LP/Track Review Non é Prohibito
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Itai Kriss and Telavana" CD/LP/Track Review Itai Kriss and Telavana
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2018
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by John Sharpe
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Dormancy" CD/LP/Track Review Dormancy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2018