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Album Review

Thollem, Parker, Cline – “Gowanus Session, The” – [Porter Records]

surferrosa   4/18/2012   CD, Jazz

Free improv courtesy of Thollem McDonas, William Parker and Nels Cline. This album teeters on the fringe of chaos and cohesion. It is tangible yet ever so abrasive. Thollem provides lovely piano sounds when he’s not having a seizure behind the keys or hurling his instrument down a flight of stairs. McDonas delivers the nickle wound sounds of the upright bass, with plenty of plucks and taps and clicks and scrapes. Cline provides the only processed sounds on this recording, saturating these massive noodlings with massive guitar electronics, feeding back and distorting the soundscape. At times it sounds like somebody is mixing in a noise record with some free jazz. This feels like sitting on a lumpy lazy boy, kind of unpleasant yet inexplicably nice. – Surfer Rosa

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