Album Review

H-Alpha – “Red Sphere” – [Skirl]

Thurston Hunger   10/2/2011   CD, Jazz

Hyperspace sax exploration, Briggan Krauss is in his
own solo rocket, but in constant communication with
Ikue Mori (manning a bank of synths for hailing
frequencies) while Jim Black teleports to repair
the shell of the rocket’s exterior. Metallic
patch and heat shield snare strikes from the always
great Black. Early on in the mission, Krauss bounces
from the speed of a solar flare on one track to a more
galactic drifty number on the next, and back. Those
more subtle numbers allow the listener to really
touch base with Mori whose communication while non
carbon-based is plenty captivating. Things really
lock into place on “Lalande 21185” where Black actually
takes the pioneering lead and Krauss gets an overtone
drone pulsating (kinda like an old Ellery Eskelin
number where Black floated to the surface). Every
listen I always get stuck on “Ez Aquarii” at the
hovering edge of a singularity it seems. I can
see free jazzheads warming themselves on Krauss’
jets, but a lot of DJ’s will tap into the spacier
moments, tethered to earth via an ambient link.
Another excellent planet in the Skirl galaxy!

-Thurston Hunger

Haiku review:

Supernova sax
Ikue Mori as Spock
Briggan Krauss Warp Ten

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