234

Garrison Fewell: Variable Density Sound Orchestra

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
Garrison Fewell: Variable Density Sound Orchestra For the descriptively-titled Variable Density Sound Orchestra, guitarist Garrison Fewell has assembled a group whose members expertly develop the thematic content central to the pieces on the album. All but one are composed by Fewell, the disc closing with Butch Morris' "Namthini's Shadow." Trumpeter Roy Campbell, Jr. plays with Fewell for the first time here, the rest of the ensemble consisting of second guitarist Eric Hofbauer, reedist Achille Succi, bassist John Voigt, drummer Mike Matsuki and percussionist Alex Fewell, who spices up the music with whistles, seed pods and bells.

Throughout the recording, the horns dominate: synchronous fanfares in "Spectronomous," "Ayleristic" and "Venus"; the trumpet's melodious nostalgic journeys in "Olorun Song," "Red Pyramid" and "Venus"; the bass clarinet's characteristic sputtering in "Fragment Alignment" or deep tonal layering in "Descent from Orbit" and the alto's mellifluous essay in "Red Pyramid" and ultra-expressive overlay in the outstanding centerpiece "Venus."

Even when the musical lines tend to go in multiple contrapuntal directions, the group behaves as one coherent unit, highlighting certain instruments. Unexpectedly, the two guitars do not take center stage. They assume a role that ornaments a main line, extending the strengths of the lead instruments, most notably with the alto in "Venus"; in the latter tune, both guitars float over a stirring rhythmic backdrop. In "Olorun Song" and "Ayleristic," bass and guitar create a solid duo interweaving. The bass establishes not only the inescapable pulse in "Namthini's Shadow," but also becomes, with the elegantly disposed drumming, the piece's mainstay.


Track Listing: Spectronomous; Olorun Song; Ayleristic; Fragment Alignment; The Red Pyramid; Venus; Descent From Orbit; Avant Aria; Calculations at Yaxchilàn; Namthini's Shadow.

Personnel: Garrison Fewell: guitar, prepared and bowed guitar, slide, percussion; Eric Hofbauer: guitar, prepared guitar, frame drum, percussion; Roy Campbell, Jr.: trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, percussion; Achille Succi: bass clarinet, alto saxophone; John Voigt: bass; Miki Matsuki: drums; Alex Fewell: percussion (6, 9).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Creative Nation Music | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Oscar, with Love" CD/LP/Track Review Oscar, with Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!