All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Mike Sopko - Simon Lott: The Golden Measure

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Cleveland, OH., reared guitarist Mike Sopko (Glimpse Trio, Birth) follows up his alliance with producer, bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Thomas Pridgen on the 2015 self-titled outing with this 2016 bass-less duo project, flanked by drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter Trio, Todd Sickafoose's Blood Orange).

They go for the gusto during these 21 tracks, spanning semi-structured pieces and numerous movements framed on primal improv and unabashed self-determination. The musicians abide by a stout constitution and sustain interest by segmenting the album into numerous works as opposed to possibly creating a sense of listening fatigue via lengthy jams, which is a component that sometimes occurs with these scaled-down improvisational excursions.

The duo projects a calm before the storm vibe on "Visions Distorted," largely due to Sopko's ambient-electric soundscapes and dainty use of volume control techniques, inducing a blissful soundscape. However, Sopko and Lott often delve into crazed and delirious free-form improv passages throughout the program but intermittently change gears with quieter and reflective parts.

"Carol" is an all-out blitz amid the guitarist's furious phrasings and distortion processes, abetted by the drummer's polyrhythmic rumblings. And "T'was Wondrous" is executed with Sopko's cyclical chord clusters atop Lott's leisurely paced backbeat. And while it's slightly hypnotic, there are no memorable hooks or cogent theme-building initiatives taking place. But the duo rallies on "Old Summer Time," by fusing a cantankerous nerve-rattling impetus with the driving boldness of Sonic Youth. Recorded live in the studio, The Golden Measure presents two like-minded instrumentalists taking risks; shooting for the stars, and perhaps enjoying a bit of soul cleansing along the way.

Track Listing: My Liege; Visions Distorted; Westside; Ebber; Outgrabe; 5am; 6am; They Love Freedom; Age Cannot; Cleveland; Southwest Story; Superintending; Carol; Cloy; Dream Team; Wake Up, Son; You Ruler; T’was Wonderful; Lay Down Never; Old Summer time; The Golden Measure.

Personnel: Mike Sopko: guitar; Simon Lott: drums & vocals.

Title: The Golden Measure | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "To Pianos" CD/LP/Track Review To Pianos
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018