All sorts of jazz, free jazz and improv. Never for money, always for love.
The latest releases by the invaluable Ayler Record label are part of their Guerilla Series, limited editions of just 400 copies, housed in mini single-disc jewel cases. The package might be minimalist, but the albums are full-length with no relaxation of production standards.
Working with new protagonists on every project seems to work for people like O’Leary. Other improvisers, like Zinman and Cook, tend to stick to a smaller circle of like-minded individuals. These Boston-area musicians have worked together frequently in a variety of contexts, but the absorbing Double Action is their first duo recording. Action painting generates action playing, as Zinman on a Yamaha digital stage piano and Cook on drums and another electronic keyboard respond to one another and to the color-splashed paintings of Linda Clave. The music was culled from various performances that included Clave painting on stage during the show. Zinman’s Yamaha can, according to the product literature, “play and control external synthesizers and tone generators” and has built-in samplers and effects. Most of the time, in fact, Zinman makes it sound like anything but an acoustic piano. He’s got it coming on like some weird amalgam of calliope, hurdy-gurdy, vibraphone, bells, glockenspiel and electric piano. At some points, the music is easy to mistake for a lost soundtrack for a Fifties-era sci-fi flick in its bold slashes of sound and ceaseless movement. Cook, whose most visible associations have been with Paul Bley and Bill Dixon, is a graceful and sensitive percussionist. Zinman puts it best in his liner notes when he describes their instant compositions as “a shifting landscape into the sound / color continuum...” Go along for the ride and you’re likely to have as much fun as Zinman and Cook evidently had in making it.
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