Saxophonist Kyle Brenders writes in the accompanying notes to Ways, "I would never sincerely believe that the process of composition could actually inform one's own experience of music...please experience this music at will and interpret it as you can." That said, this thoroughly compelling set of sounds provide captivating music that figure beyond individual categories of modern composition, jazz, improvisation, and musical interaction.
Brenders, a Canadian saxophonist and composer, is a protege of Anthony Braxton. Their duo of Braxton's Ghost Trance Music heard on Toronto (duets) 2007 (Barnyard, 2008) introduced Brenders to many listeners and more importantly, it further illuminated the mysteries of Braxton's GTM. He has also released the self-produced disc Flows And Intensities (2007).
On Ways he furthers Braxtonian principles, merging improvisation with composition. His small chamber sextet discharges the tasks of Brenders' composed music, remaining in character as the music is extended, refreshed, and renewed by repetitive reference to the composed themes. The temper of this recording remains restrained throughout as the musicians maintain their dramatis personae. It is only the sounds that shift; Brenders utilizes players who bring extended techniques to his minimalist composition. Air passing through brass and the scrape of sticks on cymbals maintain the ambiance. Jonathan Adjemian's Korg MS-20 vintage synthesizer adds differing pitches and even theremin sound to the mix.
The whys and wherefores of this session are left open to interpretation. With so many things happening in quite a minimalist approach, there are indubitably many interpretations of Brenders' meaning, and thus success.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.