A Colin Stetson solo concert a couple years ago was one of the loudest concerts I’ve ever seen, and he was wearing a Liturgy t-shirt at the time, so Ex Eye’s direction isn’t exactly a surprise.
However, the challenge of fitting Stetson’s sax concept of extended arpeggiation into more traditional heavy metal frameworks is apparent on some of the tracks. That is, no matter how loud he plays, harmonically, he fades into the background under the weight of guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums.
Less traditional tracks, like “Anaitis Hymnal; The Arkose Disc” are where Ex Eye, and Stetson, shine.
In any case, an excellent album, and I’m looking forward to seeing Ex Eye next week at The Chapel here in SF.
Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.
Number: 133 (First Tune)
First Line: O Trinity, O Blessed Light
Name: O LUX BEATA TRINITAS.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode VIII
Arr. by Ernest White, 1899-
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-97
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66
There were a lot of challenging thing with this hymn. In the Tenor Sax parts, the lower of the two spends pretty much the whole song on the lowest few notes of the saxophone. It is very difficult to play those quietly and accurately. And when it isn’t on the bottom few notes, it inexplicably jumps up to G sharp from those notes. The whole thing was basically a pinky nightmare. The lower Soprano Sax part is challenging, well, because all you are doing is basically holding one note for l0-12 beats, over the whole of the phrase. The melody part isn’t bad, it proceeds mostly stepwise up and down, but it is in 4 sharps.
Traditionally, Ambrose is credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting in which one side of the choir responds alternately to the other, as well as with composing Veni redemptor gentium, an Advent hymn.
The stars in my saxophone constellation from my teens into my twenties were: Johnny Hodges/LesterYoung -> John Coltrane/Eric Dolphy -> Evan Parker.
I’d always see Joe Mcphee’s albums on HatArt at the record store, but for some reason he didn’t really enter my area of interest. I guess he didn’t get as much press in the magazines I was reading at the time.
I was missing out, and am trying to make up for my oversight by listening to more of his recorded output these days.
Tie the Stone to the Wheel by Evan Parker / Seymour Wright.
Saxophone duos between UK free improv titan Evan Parker and his disciple Seymour Wright. So I basically spent the drive mentally cataloguing which sounds I knew how to make on the saxophone and which sounds I did not. One of them is really good at extended flutter tonguing, which I can’t do very well.
Asian Fields Variations by Louis Sclavis, Dominique Pifarély, and Vincent Courtois.
Theme and variation in folk and classical-ish modes by a clarinet, cello, and violin trio. Louis Sclavis is one of my favorite living jazz and improv woodwind players. His tone and thought process on clarinet and bass clarinet are impeccable. And bass clarinet & cello are the peanut butter and chocolate of instrumental combinations. Wonderful.
I feel like the ghosts of Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi, (and maybe even a little Dave Brubeck,) are hovering over this release from Mr Taborn. Everything seems so pleasant and relaxed, as if a benign, warm, Southern California sun is beaming down kindly.
Please turn your hymnals to number 132 and join with the Saxophones in, “All Glory be to God on High”.
First Line: All Glory be to God on High
Name: ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HÖH.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8 7.
Tempo: Joyfully, with breadth
Music: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Text: Ascribed to Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.
The DKV trio, (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler, Ken Vandermark) vs. The Thing, (Ingebrig Håker Flaten, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love). It’s hard to pick what part of this album I like the best. The intricate, and often funky, polyrhythms generated between Drake and Nilssen-Love? The awesome low end and Arco work of Håker Flaten and Kessler? The virile, competitive, skronk-fest between Vandermark and Gustafsson? I hate to use a hackneyed phrase like, “It’s All Good,” but, it is ALL great. If this album doesn’t wake you up, you’re probably dead. (Also, it’s awesome that the Google dictionary has added “skronk-fest” to its auto-complete.)
The Nearer The Bone, The Sweeter The Meat by Brötzmann/Miller/Moholo.
There is no shortage of great album titles among the Brötzmann records for FMP. Brain of a Dog in Section, Nipples, Machine Gun, Half a Dog Can’t Piss, etc. The Nearer The Bone, The Sweeter The Meat is particularly great, and a particularly great album. Recorded in 1979, a meeting between Brötzmann and two expat South African players, Louis Moholo and Harry Miller, proved especially fruitful. The sensitivity of Moholo and Miller allows Brötzmann to occasionally take his foot off the gas and play melodically, building drama and tension.
This is another VERY well known and familiar hymn and I quite enjoyed playing it. However, it is slightly annoying that it has 4 sharps for concert, which means it has 6 sharps when transposed for bflat instruments, which is A LOT of sharps. As I’ve mentioned before, it messes b sharp and e sharp sort of mess with my head, since they are C and F, respectively.
This is the first of the hymns in celebration of “Trinity Sunday”.