Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Curators, Thank You

Last October 11th I posted here on The Curators' online album Heavy Metal Spartacus. Today a look at their first album for Engine Records, Thank You (Engine 054). The trio comes across in the studio as less the in-your-face chaos-ticians that the online live album portrayed, and more as free players with a very together group chemistry and a wide spectrum of moods and attitudes.

Mikko Innanen sounds especially powerful on the baritone sax--one of the better new names out there on that instrument, in fact, but he also switches off to other members of the sax family with no less facility. He creates many bright moments throughout. James Ilgenfritz can bow very nicely and has pizz-power in the hands and fingers when he needs it. Joe Hertenstein has very good inventive freedom in the wide array of kitchen-sink percussive sounds he produces and a very effective asymmetric a-rhythmia that brings out a jagged-edged sort of feel that lays well with the free ventures of the two melodists in the band.

It's an open and well felt-thought session broken into ten interrelated sections. All of it has free avant ease of expression to it but plenty of traction when needed.

What's especially good about it all is that they never flag in invention. They are players inspired to come up with THE NEW spontaneously and they a do a great job of it.

The Curators are a free trio to be reckoned with. Thank You brings them into clear focus with some exciting and thoughtful sounds. Get it!

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