Bebop Starburst by Paul Dunmall Octet
- Though this has been rambling around the Koony Farm stables for a while, I
only bought it the other day, and haven't had a chance to listen to it until
today. It is NOT a disc that can be played in the background. If you're
going to get anything out of it, you have to concentrate on it, and it alone,
as if you were reading something by John Barth, say.
First let me say that I don't like much free jazz. 99.9% of it sounds like
crap, like a circus of carnivorous instruments eating the ringmaster. So to
BEBOP STARBURST starts with a nice, slightly avant bebop track, which makes
you expect something along the lines of the more conventional work of A.
Braxton. Ah, but then part 2 kicks in, and the band starts dissolving
motifs, deconstructing the material, sorta like the process Stockhausen
invented for KURZWELLEN, but using the music presented in part 1 instead of
some outside broadcast.
From this point until almost the end, it mediates between composed elements
and free elements in an intense and intellectual manner, not unlike what
you'd expect from Karlheinz S. and Co. if he had a big band. And it works.
Mirabile dictu, it works!
It's the .1% that DOESN'T sound like crap and DOES have a ringmaster in
charge, said ringmaster being the sensitivity of each musician to what is
being played around them. The big sheets-of-sound buildup at the end of Part
4 goes on a little long for me, but that's a minor gripe.
Then comes part 5, a straightforward bit of sensuous jazz, a capper for
everything that has gone before.
Yah, this is a good one. Not too sure about Brian Irvine yet, but I like
BEBOP STARBURST better with every spin. "And to think I hesitated."
"You're so lucky, young men. There are so many beautiful things for you to
discover. And I already know it all. Unfortunately." --- Alexander Glazunov