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House Band: Swingd

Dan McClenaghan By

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The House Band plays a slippery sound—understated, often amorphous, full of spontaneouly fluid momentums, like sounds created by a gently-gusting breeze interacting with...

Interacting with what? It's hard to pin down. Interludes with the two drummers suggest the appealing chaos of a windchime, a disorder that forms itself into subtle patterns and loose structures, guided by a higher force.

That force on Swingd is the House Band, an ensemble formerly known as the House Band of the Universe—a cheeky name, to be sure, but appropriate. This Oregon-based group—a piano trio with an extra drummer (a piano quartet?)—has two excellent previous recordings to its credit, Cycle Maintenance and Cycle Two. The players are Mark Bjorklund, keyboards; Page Hundemer, bass; Mike Klobas, drums; and Dave Storrs, drums and keys. The music they make feels like a tranquil force of nature, existing in time supension, created before clocks were born, or calendars even—like sounds that have existed forever.

Cool abstract intimacy, intricate shading, and cosmic poetic lyricism pervade this recording. Page Hundemer's bass—the group's heartbeat, repleat with channeled La Faro-esque fibrillations and deep basement grooves—anchors the swirling storm; check out the closer, "For D and N." The two-drummer team of Storrs and Klobas weaves a loose, busy tapestry throughout; pianist Bjorklund comps and solos with a sometimes intense, sometimes dreamy elan.

The House Band seems to have evolved out of the underappreciated Klobas/Storrs/Hundemer group, which recorded In the Room, via the beneficial mutation of the addition of keyboardist Bjorklund, who adds an element of accessiblity to the mix—for those unintiated to the joys of drums/drums/bass—that retains its openess and in-the-now energy.

Taking a page from the Maria Schneider/ArtistShare playbook, Swingd, a set of musical spontaneity of the highest order, is available only through Louie Records on the web.

Track Listing: Familiar; Dot Dash; And Then It Changed; Right Now; Like I Said; Looking Out the Window; For D and N.

Personnel: Mark Bjorklund: keyboards; Page Hundemer: bass; Mike Klobas: drums; Dave Storrs: drums, keys.

Title: Swingd | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Louie Records


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