idea of west |cs132








































Strong, dark-hued free improv from this bass/percussion/clarinet (mostly low-pitched) trio. Actually, the pieces are to an extent based on structures, per the notes, and you do get a cohesive feel to that effect. Calmly and intently played; not exactly my cuppa but they do what they do very well; listeners more in the post-free vein will be well served. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

Idea of West (cs 132) entstand tatsächlich an der amerikanischen Westküste, in Oakland. TONY DYER, der seinen Kontrabass beknurpst und gurrend streicht, JACOB FELIX HEULE, ansonsten auch Free-jazz/black-metal- und Doom-Noise-gestählt mit Ettrick und Hodag, der sein Drumset beharkt, schabt und bekritzelt, und JACOB LINDSAY, der auf Klarinetten von Piccolo bis Kontrabass fiept, grollt und mit Spucke gurgelt, scheinen hartnäckig mit unsichtbaren Engeln zu ringen. Vor lauter Staubwolken lässt sich das aber nur erahnen. Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

Mid-paced rather than hectic, Idea of West dwells and takes pleasure in forms rather than inaugurate them, using its orthodox subtleties, refinements of technique and conventional musical concerns to steadily disperse its resonances on different planes. Through its focused pace and structuring, not to mention its subtle inputs and considered yet flexible angles of attack, the familiar sounds found herein manage to re-discover a certain freshness over the course of the albums some six compositions.
The groups extended techniques often have an almost obsessive, restricted focus, but they locate polyphonic material in some unlikely places. During "Before There Was Mass", Tony Dryer's breathy sounds, laid over Jacob Lindsay's light and shifting clarinet and the abstract meter of Jacob Heule's on percussion, seem closer to flute than contrabass. With "Meant And Memory", too, Lindsay's command of multiphonics, lip fluttering and other extended techniques is impressive, but never simply virtuosic; his rich, warm tones combine with Heule's long sweeps of cymbal tones to create a spacious atmosphere and a memorable musical experience.
In general, the album is as sparing of its means as possible given the density of music it eventually delivers. Harmonics, rather than being solid, are microtonal on tracks such as "There Is An Opposition Together" and "Light From Another Light", shivering through the mix like distant aftershocks. Similarly, tiny sounds and almost subliminal textures, though all one can hear at first, eventually start to swell and grow astringent in a kind of ponderous playfulness. If never especially powerful, with due patience, there is ample room to consider its estimable intelligence and considerable harmonic subtlety. Max Schaefer (The Squid's Ear)

[…] You would also expect similar Grunge influences on the other band, since drummer Jacob Felix Heule and bassist Tony Dryer also perform as a brutal improv/grind duo called Ettrick. However the two have also worked in freer situations with experimenters like drummer Weasel Walter. Furthermore the third member – clarinetist and bass clarinetist Jacob Lindsay – is at home in both improvised and notated experimental music situations with improvisers such as bassist Damon Smith.
No suggestion of Scott or other earlier jazz clarinetists can be heard on Idea of West. Reed line attribution only goes back as far as Jimmy Giuffre in the 1960s, with an overlay of airy and atonal stylists such as Berlin’s Wolfgang Fuchs figuring in Lindsay’s work as well. Divergence between the Polish and American trios’ approaches is evident on the Yanks’ track which involuntarily appropriates the other CD’s title: “Light from another Light”. While Zimpel deals in medley and notes, Lindsay confines himself to the respiration of flat-line low pitches. Producing blurry, splintered air, his wide-bore solo interlocks with ceremonial gong rattling and raw cymbal scrapes from Heule and single-string strokes from Dryer.
Supple in their connection and tough in their output, the string-and-percussion duo never touches on funk beats or clichéd time-keeping, but instead fades in and out of contrapuntal partnership with Lindsay’s polyphonic tongue slaps and stops. Witness their connection on “Before There Was Mass” and “As I Said That Them Became” – with titles that actually sound as if they were hurriedly translated from Polish. Based on a composition by Heule, the later tune builds up from blunt, hard drum beats and sul ponticello string sweeps to a solid, cascading almost organ-like contralto line from Lindsay, then cymbal scuffs and jagged bass runs are added. Cumulating in miasmatic, crackling timbres, the track ends with a drum pop. The first number displays similar intimations of ring-modulator-like clangs as sibilant, vibrating nodes from the clarinetist escalate to quivering lip bubbles and throat growls from Lindsay, accompanied by the intermittent cohesion of tremolo pulses from Dryer and faint bell-ringing from Heule.
Fascinating and individual approaches to producing multi textures from only three instruments, each CD is equally satisfying. Ken Waxman (JazzWord)

The instrumentation comprises contrabass, drum set and clarinets. A personal favourite in this batch and, in general, CS’s recent output. A sort of dim-lit chamber music – described as “pragmatic applications of controlled improvisations and compositional structures” - thoroughly relying on the power of extremely low frequencies, contrapuntal answers often consisting of gritty secretions generated by the reeds’ overtones and by the bowing of cymbals and other parts of the percussive arsenal. A critical condition of suspension between the subtle rippling of silence by sparse elements, a “pinch-but-don’t-awake-me” maintenance of a semi-lethargic awareness that nevertheless lets us carefully consider any incident, minuscule or important, which manifests its weight one way or another. Apparently dispassionate, the interaction of the musicians is on the contrary revealing an utmost responsiveness to the slightest movement, a reciprocal will of listening actively which translates into numerous instances where auditory fulfilment becomes almost physical. Diversified approaches to a well-known palette that discard automatic actions in favour of a persistent fragrance of purposeful investigation, with more than a few sections worthy of admiration for the respect of the pure essence of instrumental connectivity. Massimo Ricci (Temporry Fault)