8 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drummer Ches Smith has been working the downtown jazz scene for years, playing in bands led by saxophonist Tim Berne, guitarist Mary Halvorson, and others. Here both of them return the favor, joining Tony Malaby (tenor sax) and Andrea Parkins (accordion and electronics) to fill out a stellar lineup. Considering the personnel, it’s no surprise that the music goes pretty far out on the misnamed “Limitations” and the floating “Learned from Jamie Stewart.” “Frisner” and the title track, on the other hand, sound like Sonic Youth rockers; Smith also plays in the rock band Xiu Xiu. Halvorson and Smith drive those tunes’ insistent riffs and take things into the stratosphere. With the group moving from idea to idea in quick succession, the music here never devolves into mindless self-indulgence, and group interplay is a strong point. Yet each player does find room in the ever-shifting terrain to step out, and Smith does so admirably on “This Might Be a Fadeout.” A fine effort by all involved.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drummer Ches Smith has been working the downtown jazz scene for years, playing in bands led by saxophonist Tim Berne, guitarist Mary Halvorson, and others. Here both of them return the favor, joining Tony Malaby (tenor sax) and Andrea Parkins (accordion and electronics) to fill out a stellar lineup. Considering the personnel, it’s no surprise that the music goes pretty far out on the misnamed “Limitations” and the floating “Learned from Jamie Stewart.” “Frisner” and the title track, on the other hand, sound like Sonic Youth rockers; Smith also plays in the rock band Xiu Xiu. Halvorson and Smith drive those tunes’ insistent riffs and take things into the stratosphere. With the group moving from idea to idea in quick succession, the music here never devolves into mindless self-indulgence, and group interplay is a strong point. Yet each player does find room in the ever-shifting terrain to step out, and Smith does so admirably on “This Might Be a Fadeout.” A fine effort by all involved.

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