Friday, November 6, 2009

Appealing Raw Avant Freebop from The Other Tet

The Other Tet? Yes. It's Bill Lowe (perhaps aptly) on the bass trombone and tuba, diving into the murky depths of those instruments with a burry sound that provides atmosphere as well as soul. On the tuba, a modern-day Ray Draper comes to mind; on the bass trombone he plays with raw poise. Taylor Ho Bynum works the trumpet and flugelhorn. He has the flurry of a modern day Don Cherry and has established himself as one of the first-call out trumpeters these days. Joe Morris walks and prevaricates on the upright bass in just the right combintion. Drummer Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng has a marvelous sounding set and evokes swing and exuberantly out percussiveness in alternation.

All this can be heard to good advantage on their recent self-titled CD on Engine. It has the direct appeal of some of the early "new thing" recordings made around New York in the mid-sixties. There's nothing slick here. It assumes the swingingly hard bopping quartet, then dismantles each playing role in such a congregation by creative deconstruction.

All the tunes have some good gritty torque, with the exception of "Cold Day Cup," which overworks the two-line motif but goes along nicely between those head segments.

All in all this is fine freebop. It churns, blusters, gives out with a belly laugh, then sets the studio on fire, only to go on to dampen the flames for a thoroughly musical clean up. I hope they record and gig together often. They have a nice sound.


  1. Your blog provides interesting and insightful information on releases I might otherwise miss, like this Other Tet one. Thanks so much.

    By the way, what's with the advertising?

  2. Thank you very much for your positive feedback. I try to get the news out for those who want to hear worthy music and it is good to know that my voice is being heard. That's why your comment means alot to me.

    I don't give away free mp3s and I don't have any gimmick so readers must be gained on the merits of my reviews alone. Between this and my other two blogs, plus my reviews for Cadence Magazine, I cover on the average about 11 releases a week, which is an enormous amount of work, since I take every recording seriously and listen to each multiple times before coming to any judgement.

    I am not paid a dime for this, at least on the blogs, and I pride myself on my independence. However, this labor costs me money. If I am to continue, at least part of my expenses and time needs to be reimbursed. So I have experimented with advertising here. The ads are chosen by Google and their appearance does not imply endorsement (or for that matter condemnation) of the products represented. I am paid a small amount if someone clicks on the ad. That's it and it's very simple. Thanks for asking.

  3. Oops, make that 15 releases a week. Typo!