All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

255

John Blum: Who Begat Eye

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist John Blum is a native New Yorker who has been immersed in the city's free improvisation scene for the last 15 years. His work with bassist William Parker and drummer Sunny Murray has had the highest profile and last year's release by this trio, In The Shade Of Sun, appeared on guitarist Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, no doubt doing much to push Blum's music towards an alternative rock audience.

This set of solo pieces was recorded in a single day's session on the 22nd of June 2008. Its tune titles are lifted from "Lineage," the Ted Hughes poem. It's intensified. It's condensed. It's compacted. It's impacted. It's unavoidable to invoke the name of Cecil Taylor as a stylistic precedent. Or maybe Don Pullen. Blum plays with such forcefulness and rapidity that these short-ish outbursts sound like Conlon Nancarrow's player piano rolls, interpreted via human hands, freed up into a liquid state.

Blum is darker than Taylor, exploring a deeper timbre. He makes slashing strokes across the keyboard, laterally pile-driving, adopting different speeds, clusters and event-groupings. He really sounds like he's released his mind from all conventionally governing principles. His fast detail is delivered with a manic attack. Showers, sprays, mini-tantrums. He possesses high control and a vast lexicon. The sequence of improvisations sounds like some bastardized classical recital. Blum is truly a virtuoso percussionist. He sounds as though he's realizing structures in his head, as if in narrative overdrive, keying in tongues.

Track Listing: Who Begat Eye; Who Begat Fear; Who Begat Wing; Who Begat Bone; Who Begat Granite; Who Begat Sweat; Who Begat Nothing; Who Begat Never; Never Never Never.

Personnel: John Blum: piano.

Title: Who Begat Eye | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Konnex Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
In The Shade Of The Sun

In The Shade Of The...

Ecstatic Peace
2010

buy
Who Begat Eye

Who Begat Eye

Konnex Records
2010

buy
 

In The Shade Of Sun

Challenge Jazz
2009

buy
 

Who Begat Eye

Challenge Jazz
2009

buy
Astrogeny

Astrogeny

Eremite Records
2006

buy
Naked Mirror

Naked Mirror

Drimala Records
2002

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Why Not" CD/LP/Track Review Why Not
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2018
Read "One Night at Morey's: 1968" CD/LP/Track Review One Night at Morey's: 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Spiderwebmandala" CD/LP/Track Review Spiderwebmandala
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2018
Read "Crossing Paths" CD/LP/Track Review Crossing Paths
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2018
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Love From The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Love From The Sun
by Chris May
Published: June 17, 2018