Monday, April 10, 2017
Keep in mind this is achingly alternate music. It may be bad enough that it may be the end of the world, but Peter is going to miss it--he will arrive late, or in other words not at all.
There is a hint of retro but it is also right now. Peter sings the lead vocals, plays guitar along with Dave Little and James Walbourne. It is strumming and picking tied properly to the song and so you do not sit up and exclaim, "Hey, those guitars!" There is some effective soloing here and there in a Neil Youngish way, to try and tie to a name.
In the same way Little and Walbourne's keys are firmly harnessed to the demands of the songs, as are Peter Noone's bass and Mick Clews' drums.
The tracks do what they do with near perfection and in the end you (or at least I) want to hear this one again, and then again.
Song connoisseurs of the contemporary rock landscape take note. I am very pleased with this music. Maybe you will be, too? I think so. Give it a chance!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
It is a documentation of their very fruitful collaborative appearance at the Udine&Jazz 2008 Festival in Udine, Italy. It marks the only appearance of the two together. Given Scodanibbio's too early passing in 2012, there will not be any other. But what they did that day together gives us a great deal.
Scodanibbio like Parker was bassist, composer and leading light--in the former case was central to the new music scene as contrabass exponent in advanced works by the likes of Xenakis, Ferneyhough, Globokar, etc.
In many ways this duo reminds us that, certainly in terms of technique and expanded sonic extensions if not in various other ways, there is synergy between the most advanced free improvisation proponents and those who open up parallel universes of sounds in the avant new music sphere.
Mark Dresser in the liner notes draws out the differences in approach that mark the different camps. I will not reproduce that here but refer you to the CD jacket itself.
William and Stefano transcend those differences by close listening and free inventions that set off the mutual dedication both contrabassists have to the sound color and weighted attack expressive possibilities of the modern instrument. So both make excellent interplay out of extended bowing in all its varied richness, harmonics, sounding in various positions bowed above and below the bridge, bowing attack, etc.
They also create some exhilarating double pizzicato passages.
One hears inside the notes to a microscopic sound world when William and Stefano get rolling. Fully getting it demands a focused, concentrated listen. The effort pays off as one contemplates how complete the instrument can be, and with two masters in good form here, we hear a nearly orchestral variance of tone and timbre.
This is music bass players will be fascinated by, for sure, but it is an all-encompassing listen as well for anybody who opens up to it.
Stefano Scodanibbio was and William Parker still is in the handful of bass pioneers, breathtaking virtuosos of the new. This summit meeting reminds us how much MUSIC can come out of the creative virtuoso contrabass greats when allowed free space and time, a sympathetic audience and the inspiration of the moment.
It is some fantastic interplay, a high point of contrabass duo possibilities. Get it if you can and listen carefully. You will go places.
Monday, April 3, 2017
What distinguishes this from a faux ambiant new age typicality is the pronounced sophistication of the melodic content and the artfulness of the guitars. Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli are responsible for the attractive multiple guitar parts as well as the accompanying instruments (bass, drums, keys, cedar flute, hand percussion).
The result is a very listenable set foregrounded by some fine guitar craftsmanship.
Check it out!