Monday, February 23, 2009

Zu - Carboniferous

Read my entire review on The Silent Ballet.

If you've been listening to Zu throughout their 10-year rise, you know they are liable to mutate into new, adventurous versions of themselves on each record. This album showcases an advanced leap in song-writing; their finest work thus far.Carboniferous is just their third full-length, but they've collaborated on up to fifteen records and splits. To call them "jazz" at this point proves you're reaching for a description that used to work. Even back then, it was a stretch. When it comes to labeling music, I'm more like Aldous Huxley, who said that "any attempt to reproduce these musical statements in our own words is necessarily doomed to failure." Music as exciting as Zu's cannot be captured in the medium of the written word. It's a mystery to be lived.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Greg Malcolm - Leather and Lacy

Read my entire review on The Silent Ballet.

The guitar sounds Malcolm creates are as varied as an ecosystem. For being a bit on the strange side of things, the music is refreshingly relaxing, much like watching a fire. The songs on Leather and Lacy are much in the style of Malcolm's album Hung on Campbell Kneale's (of Birchville Cat Motelfame) Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label. For someone to appreciate jazz and express that appreciation in this way astounds me. I've never heard jazz that sounded like this. I've never arrived at an understanding that remotely resembles what Greg Malcolm has done with these songs. They've become dirges for a distant future, when our civilization has transformed into something simpler. Percussive dialings, shimmery scrapings, clean melodies, musty desert wind. It's all so strange and wonderful, emotional and timeless. This is wise and magical stuff. Pull up a log and lean in.