Thursday, April 2, 2009

RIP Kill Me Trio.

Kill Me Trio.

There is something particularly fun about a new effort's launch. It seems like only yesterday, it was 1983 or so and a younger Joe Morris was handing a younger me his first home made lp, Wraparound, outside my flea bag Cambridge dump a few blocks south of my current fleabag dump.

Then was like now in some significant ways for those in the early stages of participating in this idiom. The artists tend to get lost in much louder and dimmer shuffles and hustles. The saving grace of now is probably the onset of Mass Media and Major Label die off and, of course, there are no young lonely guy boomer hordes to wave a flag for sophomoric fusion bands.

The trio described below was a debut project for Shayna Dulberger. All the participants are well prepared for the most demanding form of expression one is likely to tackle. There is an interesting design to the sequence of pieces as well with the opener a full ensemble introduction. The middle pieces are Ms Dulberger's composition's with the most extensive one, "Myopia" occupying the center.

There are several group made 'miniatures' that are utterly complete unto themselves. And these miniatures are preceded and followed by pieces embedded with a ringing singing so there is well envisioned contrasts in the discs unfolding. These early efforts, with uncertain budgets and less than optimal resources are also a technical challenge but the outcome is superb and again suggests the demise of the bloated music industry will not impact the ability of people to make something well.

Darius Jones, Alto Sax, Point Person, is fully equipped with all the capabilities discovered over the past few decades and likes the diamond cutter tone as a gravity center. From the comfort of that home he ranges widely across the sonic terrain with an assured deftness and a delight in covering a dynamic range from a mouse whisper to elephantine rampaging. Alto Sax is no doubt pleased that people continue to to do this as life gets pretty dull in football marching stints, GB and session fatigues or the gnawing sense of abandonment in pawn shops and music stores.

Shayna Dulberger, Bass,the Navigator, rises like Athena from some Zeus head of the idiom's capacity for stirring the imaginative, as with her counterparts, she has absorbed voluminous understandings and shaped them into formidable capabilities. Mr. Upright Bass is probably pretty psyched to make such a new friend when so many of the old ones have gone.

Jason Nazary, Drums, Engine Room, favors the wood but shifts to the metal in alert heartbeats. He is also acutely alert to dynamics and thus does his part to bridge bygone riverboat days before microphones and monitors made a hash of things. Drum Kit gets pretty dizzy from carrying the headbang water at high decibels and finds comfort in another prodigious effort to keep drum machines at bay.

1. Improvisation.

Full tilt start right out of the paddock. Ms Dulberger does a plucked launch with a muscular mid to heavy attack and distant Chambers archetypes. Mr Jones bright glass cutter develops a short figure as fanfare and all rides on a float of rolling pulses and cymbal splash from Mr. Nazary.

2. Improvisation II. When I think About You, I Hate Myself.

Fluttery Buzz of Sahel mirliton makes the direction evident early on with deft switch to bow work from Ms Dulberger. Mr Nazary works the wood side of the kit as a core with cymbalic darts and splashes as an element of surprise. Mr. Jones applies a striking feather flutter buzz of intra tones lurking beyond the diatonic and alternates with hypersonic long tone smears. The flutter horn makes an uncanny interweave with the flutter bow and provides a vivid indication of how attuned the ensemble is to each other.

3. Kill Her.

Mr. Jones considers to steer clear of the diatonic and musters remarkable nature evocations, unusual water fowl echos over understated drums and majestic pluckery. We have a hat snare core darting to toms
with gradations of increasing activity density akin to the sunrise chorus in an ecotone near you. Mr. Jones takes flight in an extensive soar through shifting textures enveloping the tone core densely.

4. Past Explosion.

Ms Dulberger's opening is shaped by elegiac tone bending to quiet subtle chirps from Mr. Jones and a Zen kit approach from Mr. Nazary with generous subtleties of silences sprinkled throughout.

5. Myopia.

Opening assertions from Ms Dulberger commence a fairly long result of her composition acumen that is a triptych form with the first segment mastering understatement with more substance than some dry exercise in minimalism. The mid section melody shaping takes on a whirling with some resonance to the massed shawms and oboe-ish things of Ottoman lands. The final section is a march as imagined.

6. Lowed.

One suspects the lingering memory of the late Frank Lowe sleeps in the title of a Dulberger composition made from a jaunty melody figure stated by Mr Jones.

7. Zeek.

This group invention is frog pondishly redolent of the trillings of vernal pools as amphibians gather after winters torpor to launch another polliwog generation. And at 32 seconds it has a lot going on in a way oddly similar to the amazing Folkways field recordings of the nation's frog species.

8. Duct Tape.

Full ensemble simultaneity subsides into interesting applications of the potential in 'Boing' like a more subtle boing than those spring noise things in cartoons or jaw harps in Patagonia. I'm guessing it involves some slide of a bow between bass strings that Ms Dulbeger then flicks into a boingish semi frenzy. Mr Jones offers a counter point of texture smears and long tones sparsely spaced.

9. Appendix.

This is a simultaneous full ensemble opening wash with long alto sax tones juxtaposed with bowed bass and full kit ranging of drums rising like a July line squall thunder rumble of alto lightening and the bass a wind tossed tree subsiding into alert quiet with a rise to the distant soaring pitch registers of polyphonic raptors rising from an alto bass interweave coaxed by cymbal thermals.

10. I Wish I Was.

A subdued, quiet as it's kept ballad vector, anthemic in its way. It is a bookend in some ways to "Lowed", both Dulberger compositions with a wistful otherworldly melodic one might hear in still lands at days end and things done.

Those who are interested in discovering this trio can get the cd from Ms Dulberger.

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