Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mack Goldsbury, Andreas Scotty Bottcher, Lou Grassi, Inner Cinema, 1997

From the netherworld of unreleased concert recordings emerges an unexpected gem in Inner Cinema, a 1997 date from Dresden. It features a very creative threesome in Mack Goldsbury on soprano, tenor and flute; Andreas Scotty Bottcher on piano, bass and synthesizer; and Lou Grassi on drums and percussion.

What is remarkable about the trio convergence is the wealth of invention generated by all concerned. Mack Goldsbury (who fruitfully teamed again with Grassi recently on The Last of the Beboppers; see the March 26, 2015 post here) fires up with beautiful sounds and much to say linearly in his solo space. Andreas Scotty Bottcher brings pianistic maelstroms of declamatory extroversion and then surprises with some very together bass/bass synth; Lou Grassi shows roots and freedom excellence as he swings, freely articulates and funks out (the latter for the final piece), all in ways that demonstrate his eminent vitality as one of the premiere nujazz drummers of our time.

There are seven spontaneous eruptions of instant composition to be heard here, not always in the free-jazz idiom in terms of notes, but always significant and art-creationist.

Goldsbury and Bottcher can explode with soulful fire at times while Grassi stokes the flames with powerful, exuberant swing and some considerably loose-taut and accomplished solo time as well.

This is a band caught in an especially lucid frozen moment. They are inspired and unpredictably original--moving from station-to-station with multi-stylistic force and cogency. There are some synth-bass and piano simultaneities that are nothing short of breathtaking, but then Lou is doing something exceptional in a free-quasi-Latin mode and Mack comes back in on soprano and the band travels further onward to other realms, moving from strength-to-strength.

This is free music in Sam Rivers' classic sense--they play what they feel is right at any point in time, disregarding anything save the necessity of doing what their musicality suggests in the moment. So it can get soulful, or go linear-tonal, can worry some phrases or rhythmic patterns, or just blaze ahead. The many shifting moods and inspirations are what cauterize the concert and keep your ears ready for whatever may come.

It is the complete freedom, and even freedom from the usual freedom, the ever-swerving barometer of musical direction and inspiration that mark this set as special for all three, singularly and collectively.

Yeah, man. Good music, this!

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