Monday, February 24, 2014

Environment For Sextet - John Zorn, Andrea Centazzo, Eugene Chadbourne,Tom Cora, Toshinori Kondo, Polly Bradfield

This was originally released in 1979 via Itcus Records. The album was produced by Andrea Centazzo and one of John Zorn's first releases. This was recorded November 7th, 1978 on a Radio Broadcast WKCR. Now I know about Parachute which is Eugene Chadbourne's label, but I'd never heard of Itcus. I guess the label belongs to Andrea Centazzo, a percussionist. Since there are names I've never seen before I'll list what the people play. On cello Tom Cora, on guitar is obviously Eugene, on percussion Andrea, on reeds Zorn, on trumpet Toshinori Kondo and on violin Polly Bradfield. Now an over simplification of Free Jazz is improvised music that disregards the structures of Jazz. Chord changes, tempo it's really kind of free form. With that in mind you know this album won't be "pretty". But when you think about it, beauty is a very  relative. It varies from person to person. So listen/read with an open mind for experimentation. I was planning on doing this review a week ago, but in that time I've learned something. This is a new beginning, I'll start reviewing Ennio also.
  1. Environment For Sextet: The things that I feel I'm gonna have trouble doing for this review is describing the sounds. But I'll try. It's kind of like an organized chaos. There is strings that sounds like they are creaking. The drums are going pretty crazy, and the horns and squealing. Then every few seconds, about maybe 10 or 20 or 30 there's a silence. After the third time a drum fill breaks the silence. It lasts only a few seconds before silence again. Under the silence you can hear Zorn playing around with the reeds and Centazzo playing around with the drums. Actually around 4:25-ish the squeals remind me of The Return of The Son of Monster Magnet off Frank Zappa's debut Freak Out!. The chimes in here remind me a little of Larks' Tongue. The reeds kind of do too. The two songs I compared this too are two of my favorite songs. I like the way the guitar sounds, it don't sound that pretty, and kind of sounds weird. This song progressively picks up it's pace again. Zorn and those bird calls. I also like that drone in the background. This song makes me feel kind of nervous.
  2. Solo Improvisations: This intro to this reminds me of Naked City, but with less structure. By that I mean Naked City has odd things like that but they are always broken up or cut off by a different composed or thought out kind of idea. This is just free as can be. But the thing is it's pretty cool that they did this. This is the shortest track, at 5:58 on the CD. There is slide he's playing on the guitar that sound like things I've done, or tried to do. He's making them way more interesting and this is feels like it could be maybe in a movie or something. And the cymbals rhythm that Centazzo is keeping is great. I wonder if not for him would this be kept together. Thought it's really not that kept together.
  3. Second Environment For Sextet: Some of whats going on reminds me a little of Classic Guide to Strategy, but this is keeping my attention more so. Maybe it's because I can tolerate it more, or maybe it's because there's more going on. This is the longest part at 17:12, and probably my favorite part. This is very chaotic and great because of that. There are elements that I found in the first Environment that reappear here. The trumpet reminds me of Bitches Brew at around the 3:45 mark. This is truly something that I imagine was fun to do. It also sounds kind of fun and has feeling that's going into it. These players are kind of clicking, and able to think of the same level as each other. This really sounds like some of the things that Zorn would do later on in his career. This is obviously where it all started. There are certain moments here that remind me of The Crucible. There are also parts that remind me of The Yellow Shark, especially Be-Bop Tango. The only complaint is that this is kind of long, not too long. I probably wont listen to this twice in a row, maybe every once and a while, but it's a long track.
  4. Solo Improvisations (Part Two): This wraps up the album. This is kind of crazy sounding. I could imagine someone about to be killed, or someone going crazy with this in the background. At this point I kind of have a lack of words to describe what's going on. I like just the flurries of insanity that go on in this and throughout the rest of the album.
Overall I have to give this free jass release a 7.5/10. Unless you're able to sit thought random happenings, ie. In C or chance music in general, you may not like this. I find this very interesting, but you may not. But now back to me, if there's anything I learned from this it's definitely look up some more of these artists. I enjoy this music though, it gives me ideas and helps keep me in check. How may you ask..... MUSIC HAS NO RULES!!!!!!! There are certain things that are common and are used in certain genres, but realistically there isn't a rule that says you can't do this here. Who's gonna lock you up for having a micro-tonal solo over classical music. Oh yeah, also I plan on reviewing all the albums I just torrented (LPS not on CD or Cassette ever). This is the only way I can listen to them and hopefully decide if I'll find the real deal someday. But I plan on doing all the Parachute Records and most of the Avant and Tzadik labels and any other label that is related to anyone on this album. This also got me pumped to listen to The Topography of the Lungs by Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and Han Bennink.

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