Album Review

Bukelman, Ido / Masel, Nadav – “Ground Birds” – [Out Now Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   8/8/2015   CD, Jazz

A sharp release, Bukelman’s steel string guitar and
mighty banjo often feel like they are instruments of
garotte wire. On the title track we hear some of
his angular, percussive and brittle playing we’ve
come across from him before (and not far off from
the knife-like Orcutt Bill guitar work.) It’s
deeply experimental while at the same time having
a sort of backwoods country hint….a small hint
but it’s there still the same. Now add in some of
his banjo work, and it really feels like moments
of avant garde on the farm, by way of Jerusalem
where the musicians reside and this way recorded.
The banjo adds to the bright nature of the playing,
almost shrill at times, but there’s also that
scuffling of the resonating body. And on upright
bass, Nadav Masel is all over his bass as well: slap,
clack and bow from him. On “Ground Birds II” he
walks the bass slowly alone to start, almost finds
a funk spot, and keeps on strutting. The closer
has Bukelman pulling the drone out of a somewhat
sympathetic banjo (and not that banjo-ey), pretty
fantastic. Along with Brandon Seabrook, a little
musical mutiny with the banjo (and Paul Metzger
before as well) really sliced my ear nicely.
-Thurston Hunger

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