Album Review

Kotche, Glenn – “Mobile ” – [Nonesuch Records]

Jawbone   1/8/2008   A Library, CD

Drummer Glenn Kotche has collaborated with Nels Cline, Jim O???Rourke, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kronos Quartet, Nickel Creek and is a full-time member of Wilco and Loose Fur, but his 2006 release ???Mobile??? is all Kotche and all percussion. Written and performed entirely by Kotche at the Loft in Chicago, ???Mobile??? never lets up from start to finish.
Rhythm is King. The Queen is the space between the beats, but melody makes an appearance as the Court Jester with the use of various pitched percussive devices, such as piano, bells, xylophones and vibraphones. The fire breathing dragon rears its ugly head occasionally in the form of synthesized or processed percussion. A day in the Court of Kotche is never dull. Ever unfolding, morphing, it is propelled seamlessly from one idea to the next. This release is heavy on concept, too. Just try reading the liner notes and not become confused. The funny thing is, for all the detail the liner notes go into, there???s no definitive list of the instruments incorporated by Kotche on ???Mobile???. Maybe, that???s because he cheats a little, with an organ here and a synthesizer there. Regardless of whether this is truly an all percussion release, there is no doubt that this is a marvel of a one man recording that never becomes boring. It whizzes by in the blink of an ear.

Standout tracks:

2/3. ???Mobile Parts 1,2 & 3??? (9:21) Propelled along with a prog-like momentum. (Note: 2. tracks into 3.)

5. ???Monkey Chant??? (11:29) Epic interpretation of an ancient Hindu monkey battle.

6. ???Reductions or Imitations??? (3:18) Childlike jazz piano to hip hop beats and back again.

8. ???Fantasy on a Shona Theme??? (4:06) Hypnotic solo vibraphone.


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