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Does anyone at CIMP ever sleep? Every time you turn around, they've released yet another CD of first-rate improvised music, all recorded to their high standards and all giving complete freedom to the artists involved. Bob Rusch and his team are on a mission, documenting one-of-a-kind sessions as well as the rich array of jazz musicians currently playing among us.
One of CIMP's newest CDs is Rules of Invisibility Vol. 1 , featuring alto/soprano saxophonist John O'Gallagher, bassist Masa Kamaguchi, and drummer Jay Rosen. O'Gallagher is a lyrical, emotive player; his tone is rich with passion and this quality combined with the unique shape of his notes and lines gives his playing a memorable, haunting quality. O'Gallagher is excellent on all the tracks, but he really stands out on "Folksong," where he plays with a sparseness and deep loneliness reminiscent of Miles Davis. The song is a cool blues, a poignant evocation of the unsaid. Kamaguchi supports with sensitive, minimalist lines and as for Jay Rosen, he just gets better and better: to date he has played on no less than three dozen CIMP recordings, always providing flexibility and unfailing intuition, and his discreet cymbal work on "Folksong" is a typical example of his sensitivity and skill.
As always with CIMP releases, Rusch's liner notes provide an education in themselves, giving tantalizing clues as to how improvised music is created. About this group, Rusch writes, "[T]he trio did the first set (7 takes) with only a handful of spoken words between takes but with musical excellence and interest from all members; a silent communication. And except for the opening of a piece, there was very little eye contact." The listener can feel this telegraphic harmony throughout Rules of Invisibility ; whether the spirit is bebop, meditative, or a full-out jam, the trio gets toas Rusch puts it"the music's sweet spot." Even better, the recording session yielded enough material for a second CD, so we'll hopefully be hearing more soon.
Track Listing: 1. Invisibility 7.54
2. Leakey's Bag 9:53
3. It's Very Deep 11:40
4. Folksong 7:08
5. Titans Stride 6:55
6. Point Time 5:45
7. I Love You Two 7:08
8. You Ain't All That 9:30
Personnel: John O'Gallagher -- alto and soprano saxophones;
Masa Kamaguchi -- bass;
Jay Rosen -- drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.