Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hollywood Squaretet-TET OFFENSIVE CD (Gulcher)

While I'm in the process of writing up a humongous essay-sized post guaranteed to take up at least half of a month-long blogpage (complete with all of my intimate minutiae and of course the obligatory slams at certain competing blogmongers), I thought I'd toss out a bone to keep you satisfied until the big kahuna arrives either later this week or perhaps at the end of the solstice for all I know. Anyhoo, between my blogscreeding and other music-related duties I try to keep up with, I occasionally get a few promotional items sent to the BLOG TO COMM offices, mostly by people who are under the impression that my perhaps not-so-legendary fanzine is still in production (let's just say it is dormant until the tide of bad publicity subsides sometime in the twenties). Rather than delude these fine folk into thinking that the time and energy spent posting their wares my way are totally for naught (unless they've produced one giant of a turdburger deserving of derision) I thought that writing up whatever disques of worth I've received for this here blog just might suit them more than fine, and it BETTER suit 'em considering otherwise they may have to wait fifteen years to see their progeny written up on paper!

Anyway, here's an acquisition jetted my way thanks to the fine folks at Gulcher, a CD by a recent signing going by the moniker the Hollywood Squaretet. They're a trio featuring one Kenny Kawamura on saxes, another Todd Homer on upright bass and alto sax, and even yet another Larry Copcar on drums and vocals. (Also joining these three are Mikaleno, former Homer collaborator Larry Robinson and Gil Chinn on guitars, each separately of course.) Some of you might remember Homer from time spent in the infamous Angry Samoans, but these days his trip is avant garde jazz and for a punk he (like Dee Pop, David Hofstra and a good portion of the late-seventies NYC survivors) does a pretty good job at a music that has more to do with punk than anyone other than myself would dare admit.

The Squaretet play what I would call moderne avant improv worthy of a lotta the fantastic blare that was laid down at the Sunday/Wednesday night free-form series that took place at the CBGB Lounge over the past four years (lucky New Yorkers are in for a special treat October 19th when what might be the LAST EVER avant garde jazz show will transpire at the fabled space) with an approach that's part mid/late-seventies experiment (talking the Sam Rivers-led loft series that spawned such legendary outfits as Air) and part the even-newer thing that has been coalescing around the two coasts as of late and with an alarming frequency despite the better efforts of Ken Burns and the jazz establishment to totally ignore it. It's hard to put into words (especially for an illiterate like me) as to exactly what transpires upon these laser etchings w/o looking like a typically dry jazz critic, but if you've been following the recent developments in the avant garde (where things change yet stay the same as in the best experimental tradition) I know you'll be excited by what's in store...irrythmic beat descended from Sunny Murray, halfway-decent post-Ayler freeplay, arco-bass depth... Major plus: the cover art/layout which apes the old Arista/Freedom design and perhaps un-intentionally. Major minus: the vocals/recitation which, although steeped in the past fifty years of beat tradition, don't quite gel with the modern blast extant.

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