Nail That Stands Up Gets Pounded Down
soon as I opened the small packet coming from New York I saw a CD by Rich
Woodson's Ellipsis. The name rang a bell. In fact, five years ago I had received
a CD titled Control And Resistance (it was on the Cuneiform label), recorded
by an almost-identical line-up; but I didn't remember a thing about it - not
a good sign - so I decided to listen to it again.
music on Control And Resistance is obviously of the written kind, quite pleasant-sounding
from a timbral point of view: two saxophones - soprano and tenor - double
bass, drums, the leader's guitar (the instrument that's featured the least).
When judging only from the instrumentation one could think of a jazz group
(playing written parts - here names like Anthony Braxton or the Rova Saxophone
Quartet come to mind), while the music is quite similar to... modern classical
music? Intricate melodic lines going from one instrument to another (it's
called... hocketing, right?), a development quite similar to a string quartet,
a soprano that sounds as quite similar to a flute or an oboe; drums are mostly
used as orchestral percussions. Excellent performances, but not of the kind
of stuff that makes me eager to listen to an album all over again.
Nail That Stands Up Gets Pounded Down is quite similar to its predecessor.
Anthony Burr's clarinet here replaces Peter Epstein's soprano, while we have
again Aaron Stewart (tenor), Mat Fieldes (double bass) and John Hollenbeck
(drums): all excellent instrumentalists with a fine CV, as a quick Web search
easily shows. Also present are the intricate developments of the previous
work - it's only starting with track #5 that the compositions start presenting
a different breath. The record has no real minuses - bit not real pluses,
either. And its one-dimensional compositional dynamic doesn't make for a very
© Beppe Colli 2005
CloudsandClocks.net | Nov. 10, 2005