4

Ballister: Slag

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Ballister: Slag If you were a fan of cyclist Marco Pantani, you must have appreciated the manner in which he could defeat his opponents in a 100 mile bicycle race. Nicknamed il pirata (the pirate), he could rip their legs off from the start, but the real thing of beauty was the numerous other ways he could win. Maybe that is why experiencing the live concert recording SLAG evokes Pantani's style. The trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has the capacity to annihilate ears, but the art here is the manner in which they run their race.

The trio is not opposed to sprinting out of the gate, as they do on the opener, the twenty-three minute "Fauchard" (I Googled it, it's a scary medieval weapon) with a seven minute torrent of sound. Nilssen-Love strikes blow after blow, stoking the dynamo that turns his mechanical energy into the electricity that is Rempis and Lonberg-Holm's attack. You might wonder, are you still following, or have they exhausted you? If you can hang, the trio slows their pace and reveals their chess match. The macro becomes the micro. Those listeners that have kept pace are rewarded with more intimate gesturers, extended saxophone and cello technique, electronic fission, and staggering feats of percussive acrobatics.

Connoisseurs of free jazz can appreciate the energy here. Rempis channels both Brotzmann and Braxton, the outside and the inside. Nilssen-Love is the next generation of free jazz drummers, a combination of Sunny Murray and Tommy Ramone with an allegiance to pulse over swing. Then there is the cello of Lonberg-Holm, who has the ability to write his book with inspiration from Fred Kats to Jimi Hendrix. The quieter moments of "Guisarme" and "Glaive" (more medieval weaponry) might be the tastier cuts of meat here. Each player showcases his talents from an extended drum and cello/electronics duo to the serpentine wandering of Rempis' saxophone.

SLAG is a triumphant recording on many levels. It can exhaust you with its energy jazz or lull you into submission with its minutiae. Either way, there is something overwhelmingly satisfying about being beaten about the head by this trio.

Track Listing: Fauchard; Guisarme; Glaive.

Personnel: Dave Rempis: alto saxophone; tenor saxophone; tenor saxophone; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello, electronics; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums.

Title: Slag | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Aerophonic Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Etchings in Amber" CD/LP/Track Review Etchings in Amber
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.