Album Review

Grossman, Dottie & Vlatkovich, Michael – “Call & Response & Friends” – [Pfmentum]

Thurston Hunger   7/1/2011   CD, Jazz

Poetry ping pong taking Guided by Voices measures to the lands
of jazz improv? Grossman’s poems are short starter squiggles
then teased out into drawings by Vlatkovich and his cohorts
(two sets in Los Angeles and Corvalis). Even the musical
conjoinders feel like premonitions of longer pieces. Some
of the music feels like sideways echoes of other classics,
then at other times the music catches an animal’s shadow
from the preceding poem, or takes a trip to Angor Wat or
some other distant locale namechecked by Dottie. She also
loves the little paradoxes in life, bowing towards Alaska,
and she tempers her expectations, not counting on a friend’s
grandiose reincarnation, but settling for a hummingbird
(which is not too shabby, if you ask me). There’s an
excellent less-is-more vibe throughout, and Dottie by virtue
of her name and voice, if not the countless cigarettes that
have gone in to come out as poems, has to be of an age where
a half-portion is still better than no-portion. Too bad
her husband?? is not around to share, but at least they can
hang out in KFJC’s library together for eternity. You know
if the words scare you away, the playing on here really is
top-notch. Vlaktovich is an excellent t-boner, even if
Dottie tries to reincarnate him as a dolphin.

-Thurston Hunger

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