38

Thollem / Parker / Cline: The Gowanus Sessions

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Lives"

Glaring expressionism coupled with rip-roaring layers of acoustic-electric sound-sculpting maneuvers yield the bountiful fruit on this manifold studio date. When guitarist Nels Cline isn't tearing it up with the popular alt-rock band Wilco, he's knee-deep in progressive-jazz, free-form experimental and jazz-rock formats. He's catapulted to the upper echelon of modern guitarists, paralleling the colossal faculties of bassist William Parker and pianist Thollem McDonas.

Parker has been a perennial driving force behind the reshaping of jazz along with the improvisational paradigms that follow, and generates a propulsive yet, at times, pensive undertow on the sixteen-minute "Lives." As McDonas kicks it off with a loosely organized series of trickling ethereal notes, insinuating a spiritual perimeter of sorts.

The artists align their wares via a feeling out process, energized by Cline's note-bending exercises and strings scraping techniques, leading to a spiraling improvisational fest, designed with overlapping statements and intense three-way conversations. Lucid imagery remains a continuum as the trio's linear onslaughts intimate harrowing backdrops, abetted by Parker's creaky and ominously designed phrasings

"Lives" vividly mimics the human condition for all of its ups and downs, while showcasing this trio's striking creativity and soul-probing modalities.

Personnel: Thollem McDonas: piano; William Parker: bass; Nels Cline: electric guitar.

Title: The Gowanus Sessions | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Porter Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Duo (DCWM) 2013" CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Kingdom" CD/LP/Track Review Kingdom
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Harmony of Difference" CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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