All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
From the "it must be music, because this ain't no painting" department comes a new solo release from percussionist Jon Mueller.
The one-time member of Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees, and Raccoons and collaborator with Bhob Rainey and Jack Wright recorded this thirty-two and a half minutes of sound. It comes with instructions to "play at maximum volume in a large empty room."? I thought about moving the sofa but needed something to sit on.
Within six minutes, my yellow dog sat up and exited rather quickly. Mueller creates music like Rothko painted canvases. There is a form here; it's a percussionist's record. But there are no references to familiarity. A tide of static (?) flows in, and things begin to rattle around you. Beneath it all, you recognize the tap-tap-tap of the snare. But it is far away, and there is an energy field between you and the drummer. Knobs are turned, things drift in and peak. You wonder if you should have followed the dog, but you stay.
Sometimes harsh, never dull, Mueller cuts huge swaths of sound; his distorted drumming calls to mind pieces produced by Norwegian Helge Sten (Deathprod). Like Sten's work, the sounds are neither purely industrial nor entirely human.
Difficult? Yes. Satisfying? Yes, and definitely room-clearing music.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.