Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut - The Williamsburg Sessions II

Stuart Kremsky, Cadence Magazine

A trio setting (Shurdut, g, amp; Blaise Siwula, as; Brian Osborne, d; Brooklyn, NY, 12/14/06) recorded live in Brooklyn, probably at home, two long improvisations bracket a much shorter one. All three (Etuning
the Lumber Yard/ Etuning the Warehouse/ Etuning the Waterfront. 52:15) involve what Shurdut has dubbed “environmental tuning,” described by liner note writer Ken Waxman as a system of using “the
timbres generated by electricity and his own tuning to create another rhythm source from the plugged-in attachment...”
“Etuning the Lumber Yard,” the most abstract and waywardly rhythmic of the pieces, starts with tiny swells from Siwula, a small guitar drone, and concentrated attention on cymbals. As the disc goes on, and the music grows deeper and more flowing, it sure sounds like it’s sequenced in the same order as the music happened.

Shurdut, who doesn’t solo and whose guitar sometimes is barely there, is most active on the final track, “Etuning the Waterfront,” with a detectable electronic groan and beat. He’s the Eddie Condon of the Free Jazz scene: you know he’s doing something, but you’re not always sure what that is.
The often-subtle percussionist Brian Osborne grows more assertive on this one as well, leaving Blaise Siwula little choice but to blow hard as well. His response is masterful, building impressively and sustaining focus on the almost 25 minute track as he constructs a solo that starts with bluesy fragments, then connects them in longer and longer phrases, pitched at the top end of his alto.
Sound is still a bit murky, but at least the relative proportion of each instrument in the mix is more or less proper, giving the date a suitably mysterious quality.

This one’s definitely worth a listen.

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