Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Ames Room, "Bird Dies"

Bird Dies (Clean Feed 231) is a rather cheeky name for a 45-minute continuous improvisation by the alto sax-bass-drums trio The Ames Room. But it does give notice that the music contained on this CD is most definitely beyond bop. Jean Luc Guionnet, Clayton Thomas and Will Guthrie on alto, bass and drums, respectively, from the beginning lock into a tumbling, jabbing, continuously heated improvisation that has something of the phrasing of Trane's "Sunship" to it. The trio manages to do that with their own personalities to the forefront however.

Guionnet's alto is unrelenting in its continual short burst of phrases. working through and developing his solo through repetition, variation and change. The rhythm team follow each their own rolling and thrusting variations. Combine the three over time and you have the interplay that puts this performance in its own special place. The overall dynamic is freedom within a straight-eighth note feel, rather than a triplet-oriented swing implication.

It's very intense. It might drive grandma out of the room. If you are up for that you'll get plenty of it on Bird Dies!

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