Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Naked Future Hit it Hard on Gigantomachia

I was unfamiliar with Arrington de Dionyso until I heard the new Gigantomachia (ESP) CD by the group he heads, the Naked Future. He works the bass and contralto clarinets with fire and sometimes fury. According to what I read he has been a fixture in the ensemble Old Time Relijun. Hey, there's so much to keep up with these days I have no idea whether the fact that I don't know that group is a terrible gaffe on my part or just an incomplete grasp of the musical infinity we all currently inhabit. No matter, really. My old boss would say at this point, "that's a good kind of problem to have." And he would be right. As he often was.

The Naked Future also has the forthright post-Cecil piano presence of Thollem McDonas. Arrington and Thollem make this recording jump (I would say, "make the needle jump" but CDs don't have that, so. . . ). They are confirmed bashers and honkers in the classic free "new thing" sense, and they have a concentrated commitment to this form of expression, if Gigantomachia is any indication. I think it is. Oh, they are joined by John Niekrasz on drums and Gregg Skloff on bass, both of whom provide the requisite outness appropriate to the session.

I am impressed with the single-minded devotion to uncompromising and fertile out playing these people evince. After a couple of listens, I began liking what I heard. Now I like this disk very much. It is surely in the venerable tradition of ESP Disk productions. It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1965. And yet, no, the current world intrudes in the music, and that's surely for the best. This is an excellent example of how and exactly where the out music flourishes today. Elsewhere too, of course. But the brave, new, and naked future world just as well might start here. Listen and perhaps you'll agree. Check the CD out at www.espdisk.com.

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