Anna Webber's Percussive Mechanics: Refraction

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Friction/VIF (Reflection)"

Percussive Mechanics seems to be a fitting moniker for New York City- based saxophonist, composer Anna Webber's band, since the core building blocks of her intricately fabricated compositions are huddled within knotty flows and odd-metered rhythms. She doesn't operate within a narrow modus operandi, as each piece poses variable persuasions. A rising star in the avant-jazz community, Webber's group-centric focus and compositional acumen radiates here on her second album for Pirouet Records. Featuring a horde of changeable pulses and atmospherics, the artist's exploits include experimental jazz, wily rock and improvisation via indirect routes, tender interludes and moments of anguish.

One of many standout tracks is the album closer "Friction/VIF (Reflection)," where bassist Igor Spallati launches the activities with creaky arco lines, venturing towards a mild and unassuming schema amid droning horns that proclaim a subliminal mantra-like groove. The band converges and generates a rebellious motif followed by drummer Martin Kruemmling's tapping percussion patterns. Moving forward, Webber and multi-reedman James Wylie's single note expressionism spawns a peculiar sequence of events that form a music vernacular akin to high-strung minimalism, amped by Elias Stemeseder's accenting block chords that transition the group into a festive cadence. Thus, it's just one of several cleverly devised compositions that steer the psyche into a bizarre netherworld and basically counterbalances other works, sculpted on genre-busting thematic constructions.


Anna Webber: flute, tenor saxophone; James Wylie: clarinet, alto saxophone; Elias Stemeseder: piano; Igor Spallati: bass; Max Andrzejewski: drums, marimba (4); Martin Kruemmling: drums.

Album information

Title: Refraction | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Pirouet Records


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