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Jeff Kaiser / Andrew Pask / G.E. Stinson / Steuart Liebig: The Choir Boys with Strings

Jim Santella By

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In following their duo session, The Choir Boys, with this quartet performance a year later, Jeff Kaiser and Andrew Pask once again reach out into the realm of electronic music, unfettered by convention. The Choir Boys with Strings adds guitar and bass to the mix, giving Kaiser's trumpets and Pask's woodwinds an added layer of sounds. They're wild and raucous throughout, making sure that eerie refrains capture the day.

Each of the four artists converses through his instrument, taking nods from the others and employing a free-flowing stream of ideas. Kaiser's trumpets come in open and muted form, with and without echo. Pask surges forward with his clarinets and alto saxophone, employing a conventional texture in a non-conventional setting. G.E. Stinson colors the session with light sparks from electric guitar as Steuart Liebig crawls raggedly across the bottom.

Throughout the program, each player adds electronic blips and beeps that season the program lightly. They emphasize lyrical musical conversations which weave a thread through this performance among four improvising artists.

Kaiser's trumpet squeals and moans eerily on "Tobacconist from Rimini, while guitar and bass provide walls of reflected sound. When Pask's alto joins the melee, the scene turns helter-skelter. The quartet takes this one on a trip to the moon and back. Adulterous Dishwasher brings an airy soliloquy from Kaiser that includes kissing sounds and all kinds of personal trumpet remarks. He's followed by a mechanical tirade that lets guitar and bass imitate a machine while fusing electronics into their mix.

The quartet combines noise with improvised soloing. The basic elements of melody, harmony and rhythm are absent, however, as each artist sculpts his idea of what free-form improvised music should endow. Don't look for soulful impressions or pleasant musical amity. These "choir boys prefer to stimulate the senses through eerie sounds and varied industrial machinations.

Visit Jeff Kaiser on the web.


Track Listing: Suite One (Needlework Alice; Impromptu Lateral Drop; Tobacconist from Rimini; Frenchwoman Luggage Cart; Adulterous Dishwasher); Suite Two (Definitely Jack; Rest of the Skeleton; Wir Sind Hier).

Personnel: Jeff Kaiser: trumpet, quarter-tone trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics; Andrew Pask: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, bass penny whistle, electronics; G.E. Stinson: electric guitars, electronics; Steuart Liebig: electric contrabass guitars, electronics.

Title: The Choir Boys with Strings | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: pfMentum

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