Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Intriguing Conversational Noise-Jazz Jams From PinkBrown

Guitarist Xander Naylor made an impact with his completely unhinged, ferocious work on Ben Syversen’s Cracked Vessel album last year. He’s also a tremendously interesting writer, in an individual style that spans jazz, rock, funk and plain old brutal noise. On the expansive ep by his trio PinkBrown, he’s joined by saxophonist Johan Andersson and drummer Max Jaffe for an intuitively conversational, fascinating mix of composition and improvisation. Which is which? Trying to figure that out is a lot of fun. There’s so much going on here, yet so little in places: shifting from full-bore assault to wispy minimalism, the band deliver the kind of performance that you can play along to as you listen. It’s all about interplay rather than simply trajectory: they’re playing as a unit, rather than everybody shooting from the three-point line.

The first track here, Octagon begins with washes of feedback over a stiff martial beat, joined by sireening sax, skronky pinging Daniel Ash reverb droplets and then some guitar torture as the drums loosen and slide into funk. The sax joins the melee and suddenly the melee is over, replaced by an austere, minimalist section kicked off by Naylor, sax and drums joining in gingerly. The sparse atmospherics expand, a spacious mysteriousness pervades until Naylor makes his way back with big, sunburnt, sustained chords and the most memorably tuneful passage here. They wind it down gracefully and quietly. That’s the first eleven minutes of the album.

Track two, According to Taste is all about conversations and loud/soft contrasts. They begin wry and chirpy until Naylor’s frets catch fire and then extinguish by themselves. A single, simple noir riff appears; austerely chiming minimalism grows almost imperceptibly to a brief skronk interlude, then back down again, skeletal and whispery. A stomping anthem in disguise grows out of it, drums being the secret weapon here. They go out with a quick machine-gun volley. The third cut, Undisembowled, is a blistering instrumental that wouldn’t be out of place in the King Crimson catalog circa 1976. Beginning as staggered, metal-toned riff-rock, Andersson jostles Naylor tentatively and then a brief battle ensues, spacy feedback reverb guitar against sostenuto sax. Then Naylor trades 21st century schizoid riffs with the drums, sax and guitar go off into separate corners and bludgeon something and then return in unison to go out with a triumphant funk/metal chorus. Count this as one of the more enjoyably captivating albums so far this year. PinkBrown play an in-store show at Downtown Music Gallery at 7 on May 15.

April 11, 2011 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly jazz in NYC – who knew? And it’s FREE!

Thought this would bring some of you jazzcats out of the woodwork…. the nonchalantly brilliant guitarist Matt Munisteri sent this over:

“New York keeps losing venues for live music every month, and last summer we lost a wretched – but oddly loveable – joint called The Cajun (NYC developers, and their Lord and Master Michael Bloomberg, finally succeeded where the board of health repeatedly met with failure.) So flash forward to summer 2007, and NYC still has no place where traditional jazz is a regular offering – for the first time in maybe 80 years. So Jon Kellso and myself are starting a regular Sunday hot blowing gig at The Ear Inn (Spring St a half block from the Hudson on the island of Manhattan ).

The Ear is it, folks. It will be free, with tips graciously accepted and respectfully encouraged. And it will be early – 8pm to 11pm. And it will feature many of the best local – and national – players in the scene. And, even better, while we’re calling it a “traditional jazz” gig, you know…that’s just the jumping off point – and pool’s shallow end has been roped off. The only sour note is that it may take a few weeks for Jon and me to be there together.

On the subject: If you’d like a taste of the Ear gig, Jon Kellso’s first CD in around 10 years has just been released. It’s called “Blue Roof Blues” and it’s really good. Go get it. Now.”

June 28, 2007 Posted by | jazz, Live Events, Music, New York City | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment