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Album Review

Johnston / Frith / Hoff / Ochs / Smith – “Reasons For Moving ” – [Not Two]

Thurston Hunger   9/13/2007   CD, Jazz

Man what’s good for cows is good for the gander. A loose
goosey quintet with the bovine duo at the rhythmic center.
I suspect however Fred Frith was at the pleasure center, I’d
be tempted to ask who had the most fun playing with him on
this release. He initiates the album with some chilly chord
ripples and the members join in bird call stacatto while
Ches Smith gets a soft snare railroad going. Devin Hoff’s
string bass rises in sound and inner funk, Larry Ochs is
the first to go off. Later on “Biocarbon Man” Frith creates
a vibe of vibrato violence for an outstanding dark number. Yep,
it’s the hit single here! On “Speed Trap” Frith tosses a flaming
Sharrock cocktail, and both Ochs and Darren Johnston ignite.
It’s a quick one, but the fieriest. A lot of the instant
compositon on here features Ochs’s saxes and Johnston’s
trumpet having something between a conversation and a game
of Go. Check out “Bicarbonate of Soda, Man” in that a couple
of times Frith adds some muffled, fluffled guitar that sounds
like a turntable trapped in a pillowcase. “Distant Cities”
has the quintet sneaking into an icy harbor at night, buoy
drums and bowed cymbals, crisp cracking guitars and a fog
of horn. The closing and title track starts out with the most
driving rock flavor on the album, veers out for some invention
and ends up with a freezing-soothing Frith-froth.

Thurston Hunger

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