Album Review

Zen Widow – “Screaming In Daytime (Makes Men Forget)” – [Pfmentum]

Thurston Hunger   1/17/2013   CD, Jazz

There are five voices in this quartet and each one strong.
The album opens with the masterful Wadada Leo Smith, calling
from on high with his trumpet. His playing is always so
beckoningly beautiful, KFJC has tons of work under his name
but we need to double it. Is there anyone better with a
mute (check out his atmospherics on #4). Gianni Gebbia
joins Wadada second on the opener, but he often seizes
the lead with his sinewy snake charming sax. Or he can
sputter-step with the best of him (we have at least two
Gebbia solo wunderworks). Listen to Gianni fire up #3. Check
out the spy work piano added on that track by Matthew
Goodheart, crumpling chords and skeet shooting notes.
Now that’s a piano that has been drinking! Drummer Gareth
Powell helps to give this pfMentum release a kind of
Hat-Hut art spike, he can hammer with the gods (has squared
off with firebrand Josh Allen) but he can also ensnare
and ticker tape your hi-hat heart. Listen to him open
the doors to massive album closer, which winds up in tiny
heart of an antique music box. The fifth voice here is
one of indirect inspiration, Glenn Spearman (RIP) who in his
own words “went to join the ancestors.” This offering
surely would please the very inner ear of said ancestors.
Super tuneful, super searching musically, never blowing
up sound, but always building it. Do not miss this.

-Thurston Hunger

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