A cerebral trip wire of sound and texture...nuanced fury.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Live in the studio means different things to different people and artists! Loops, electronics, and various types of programming are electronic crutches for the less talented and amazing tools of discovery for those whose harmonic vision runs just a bit left of center. Machine Mass is a bass-less trio that has the keen ability to manipulate sound and rhythm to the degree that depending upon where you are in the release then you would be convinced that the bass player was killing it and the quintet was perhaps the most progressive outfit in improvisational music. Despite the masterful use of their electronic tool box, Machine Mass never crosses that eclectic line of harmonic minimalism while embracing shifting meters, rhythms, and intensity that keep As Real As Thinking right on the cutting edge of originality.
There is a lyrical sense of purpose, melodic muscle with deceptively nuances flavor thanks to the use of the bass clarinet on "UFO-RA." The tunes "Khajurao" and "Palitana Mood" move to the more ambient side of the harmonic street with an organic tip thanks to the bouzouki and bansuri flute. Machine Mass is a rare ensemble that has a full command of both sound and silence. Machine Mass does not see a harmonic vision, they hear it. Their latest release featuring David Liebman is drawing rave reviews and I was no exception. Good music has no expiration date and this gem from 2011 is proof.
Tracks: Cuckoo; Knowledge; Let Go; Khajurao; Hero; UFO-RA; Falling Up; Palitana Mood.
Personnel: Tony Bianco; Drums, Loops, Percussion; Michel Delville: Electric Guitar, Bouzouki, Electronics; Jordi Grognard: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Bansuri, Electronic Tempura.