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Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut -Criticisms
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Joined: Jan 17, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut -Criticisms
Subject description: Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut and Environmental Tunning
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JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT
American Artist (b. 1967), New York City.
The Sound Experiement Years; 2003-2014


"YAD" Top 10, 2012 Tdd McComb- AllMusic Guide
"TOP 10" 2006, "Ayler Box Set" -The Village Voice, Signal to Noise.
Shurdut is a "Visionary," Mike Szajewski (WNUR, Chicago)
"Talent and Vision to Spare," Steven Loewy (AllMusic Guide).
"If any one musician arguably epitomizes cooperative total improvisation in the 21st Century, then it’s New York-based guitarist and keyboardist Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut." (Ken Waxman)

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut (Am. b. 1967) is founder of The FMA and noloabels records, and heads THIS IS THE MUSIC OF LIFE, The Human Unconditional, and Creative Music for Creative Listening: A series featuring both inter-disciplinary and multi-instrumental artists who have a place in American History and emerging artists dedicated to documenting the essential connection between the visual, movement, music, and word in a living and creative space.

"This Music Lives Up To Its Name." -The Village Voice
"A luta continua... intense, astringent , multipoint,...engrossing level of improvisitory interaction...a viscerally thrilling ride." -Cadence Magazine
“Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut leads...” -The New York Times
“Shurdut,… Ethereal, Ghostly, Evoking. Well-developed micro-activity, Satisfying, Amorphous." -Cadence Magazine
"INCENDIARY JAZZ!"- Time Out New York.

JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT; first living artist celebrated by Ayler Records with Box Set; 2007. Performances, Art Showcases Include: The Whitney Museum of American Art, Biennial; 2008. The University of Pennsylvania; 2006. Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Installation; 1993/94, The Stone, TONIC, CBGB's, The Knitting Factory, The Vision Festival Club Series. Only artist documentary by Cadence/NorthCountry 2002-2007; Ayler Records 2007-2011; JaZsTapes; 2011- present. Artist in Resident; Sweden-Smedjebacken, Morgardshammar; Dalarna; Sollentuna, Bromma; Stockholm, 1999, Norway- Majorstuen, Oslo, 1999. *Over 70 recordings released to the public.

*Archivist, Julien Palomo.

Section of The Essential Biography:
Shurdut spent the early part of the 1990's in the basement of The New York Philharmonic, listening to concerts, and learning piano on a hand held drum sampler; phonetically, in New York City's Central Park. In 2002, Shurdut discovered etuning; the tuning of one's instrument to his/her environment. The artist’s recollection of his epiphanic moment is the stuff of legend. [Ayler Records liner book] "I opened my window, and there it was... I just tuned my guitar to 35 miles an hour and played." Within the last few years, as the major avant garde venues have been on the decline, Shurdut has resorted to recording in busy music stores, while going undetected.

Formal Connections:
Joe McPhee, Sonny Simmons, Marshall Allen, Luther Thomas, Jameel Moondoc, Bern Nix, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Frode Gjerstad, Lukas Ligeti, Guillermo Gregorio. Current Collaborations Include: Gene Moore, Paul Flaherty, Gene Janas, John Moloney & Feeding Tube Records. +Brian Osborne, and Marcus Cummins.


Curator:
The Bowery Poetry Club Series.
Brooklyn Fire Proof- "The 2 1/2 Hour New Music Festival".
Brooklyn Fire Proof- "The 2 3/4 Hour New Music Festival".


Documentaries:
Ayler Records, monthly series (2006-2012).
Cadence/NorthCountry, monthly series (2003-2007).
JaZt Tapes, the anthology (2013-present)


The Stone, Tonic, The Knitting Factory, CBGB's, Hampshire College, WKCR, Ars Nova.



The Ayler Record Years:
http://www.ayler.com/images/covers/pdfs/aylDB-200_linerbook.pdf

Signal To Noise

By: Lawrence Cosentino
In the notes to his eight-part “digital box set” on Ayler Records, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut calls himself a “moving portal,” a human receptor communicating “the all-out storm of the world.” From this and other basement-Buddha pronouncements, an ornery skeptic could make wild guesses about Shurdut’s life story: the one failed piano lesson, the uncommunicative youth, and finally, the burst of inspiration that led him to throw off the shackles of technique and realize that music isn’t created, but already out there, poised to rush on its own through a properly receptive “portal.” No, Shurdut doesn’t make it easy, but this collection tosses down an enormous gauntlet: listen to these astounding sonic cyclones, recorded guerilla-style in various venues around New York, and then brush him off – if you can. The Digital Box is a daunting package, and the first order of business is to skip past Shurdut’s post-obvious poetry and philosophy (“everything is already in front of us”) and go straight to “Etuning,” the set's centerpiece. “Etuning” presumably stands for “environmental tuning,” an evasive concept until you hear Shurdut and his colleagues draw shattering soundscapes out of everyday noises. Most of Shurdut's sessions feature two or three hair-onfire reedmen, maybe a trumpet, prominent percussion, and wild-card elements such as viola, laptop, or spoken word. (Shurdut’s philosophy is to let anyone play anything, whether it’s “their” instrument or not.) Shurdut himself is usually under the waves, stirring up bottom murk on guitar, amp or piano. The first thing that hits you about this music is its hungry, amoeba-like cohesion. In “Etuning From the Shower Head,” everybody locks into thick, liquid pulsations, centered by Brian Osborne’s tremendous drum rolls. Reedman Blaise Siwula, an exciting and frequent collaborator on this set, sounds almost blithe, as if he’s singing in the shower. “Kitchen Sink” is full of stinging cymbals and high-hat splashes – is the water too hot? – and “Bathroom Tub” goes on a wild squeakathon, with Shurdut’s guitar sounding like a barnyard full of chickens. A bracing new sound combination is almost always around the corner. On “Siren to the Dishwasher Handle,” flutist Bonnie Kane adds a bizarre fairy dust of trills; on “Truck to the Wind Underneath My Door,” Daniel Carter’s huge tenor booms through dense layers of resistance and friction. The savage energy and palpable group spirit of Etuning is typical of the whole set. The longer tracks will challenge the patience of some, but the music's felicitous mix of random and precise processes, its organic integrity, makes it as hard to argue with as a wild forest, a busy street or a hunk of rock. The trick is not to follow this music, but to wander through it. “Humanity,” for example, starts out like cave music, with piano tolling and cello slurs like a growling stomach. Welf Dorr’s alto sax spirals up through the dark like a silvery stalagmite. Most of the time, such comparisons fail, as when until the group stretches and strangles the music into a twisted rope of wet sound. The sheer power of most tracks will blow the scalp off your skull. On “Emergency Broadcast System,” Siwula and tenor man Ras Moshe whip around like an unattended riot hose for a solid 20 minutes before starting to flag (though drummer Marc Edwards just keeps on going). They set the bar so high anything less than an all-out frenzy begins to sound like marking time, but Shurdut’s endings always rise to the occasion. Toward “Emergency’s” conclusion, Moshe takes a blazing solo, supported by low rumbles from Shurdut. Edwards skitters in with nervous brushwork, and then they’re off again, heading for a thunderous, drum-drenched climax. “City Living” is among the least frantic, with Siwula and Ras Moshe on tenors and Marcus Cummins on soprano for the 42-minute anchor track, a study in the braiding and unbraiding of sax lines. Shurdut’s hand is lighter, in part because he’s on a background-mixed Fender Rhodes, so even the mass freakouts sound a bit like they’re happening inside a bottle. Shurdut’s inclusiveness works well here. For much of the duration, all three reedmen are playing at once, and their intelligently layered interplay, defying all odds, doesn’t get old. On “This is the Music of Life”, Siwula and free-jazz legend Sonny Simmons sound great together, and it’s a thrill when Daniel Carter’s trumpet swoops in like a hawk, temporarily silencing them both. Of course, there are limitations to Shurdut’s approach. When the hornmen lay out and leave his piano out to dry for too long, he wears out his welcome. He’ll obsess over a cramped figure on piano or guitar for minutes on end, forcing the rest to make something out of it. Often they do, sometimes they don’t. “Ayler Records Celebration” centers on Luther Thomas’ tribute to Charlie Parker, with disembodied Bird riffs and tired spokenword jazz worship that broke the Shurdut spell for me. But that was an exception. Still, some people will call this set self-indulgent, and maybe it is. On balance, it’s a good thing surgeons and dentists don’t rediscover their instruments and channel their disciplines out of thin air, as Shurdut does with guitars and pianos. But we should all aspire to attune ourselves to kitchen sinks, windy doorways, and city sounds the way Shurdut does. Religion is about filling life’s empty bag, and etuning has more to do with religion than music. It requires a leap of faith, but if you’re game, etuning richly rewards elistening.


The Wire

By: Daniel Spicer
New York multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut isn’t one to whisper when a shout will do. This third installment of his monumental download-only box set adds a further six CDs’ worth of live recordings, bringing it to around 20 hours. With Shurdut mostly playing a fire-spitting alto sax, the basic template is the explosive mass improvisation of Coltrane’s Ascension, but with the Afrocentric spiritual yearning replaced by nerve-jangling information overload. “Free Gravity” is a boiling scream, with Danny and Gene Moore’s guitars and electronics touching similar ground to uncle/brother Thurston’s Original Silence; “Indigenous Songs for Our People” features percussionist Lukas Ligeti; and “Middle Class Poverty” pits Sabir Mateen’s tenor against Shurdut’s piano pummeling. Almost overwhelming in scope and density, and gleefully sidestepping issues of subtlety or restraint, it’s not so much a joyful noise as an anguished shriek of existence.



Ken Waxman

When Lester Bowie wrote his melancholy dirge “New York is Full of Lonely People” in the 1970s, he could have added that the Big Apple is also packed with a multitude of musicians who continue to turn out unrelenting Free Jazz that masterfully reflects the harsh reality of the city. Three of those notable sound explorers are featured here. Always concerned with the “now”, guitarist Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, a member of many New York ensembles, is a multi-instrumentalist who honed his style working with such Free Jazz luminaries as saxophonists Sonny Simmons, Joe McPhee and Frode Gjerstad. One of his regular playing partners is alto saxophonist Blaise Siwula, who is also involved in a variety of ad-hoc Free Jazz situations including the C.O.M.A. improv series. Siwula has recorded with everyone from veteran Japanese pianist Katsuyuki Itakura to young bassist Adam Lane. Third angle of this triangle is percussionist Brian Osborne, who has played for dancers, performed gamelan music and is involved in improvisation with Itakura, Siwula, New York multi-reedist Sabir Mateen and many others. Recorded live in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn – Manhattan rents are making creative people even lonelier these days – the CD highlights three earnest group improvisations. These are aural snapshots of the sort of in-the-moment contemporary sounds created by players whose touchstone is creativity, not musical trends. Each of the two extensive and one short tune includes a reference to etuning in its title. Etuning or Environmental Tuning is a Shurdut specialty, designed to reflect the everyday sounds of the homes and streets of New York. The guitarist, who is also listed as playing “amplifier”, uses the timbres generated by electricity and his own tuning to create another rhythm source from the plugged-in attachment, usually extending and sometimes superseding Osborne’s time-keeping. The most spectacular display of this occurs on “Etuning the Waterfront,” the final track. Here the trio members improvise in parallel counterpoint, intersecting as necessary. Shurdut’s quivering string friction, extended with finger tapping and augmented by amplifier electricity, is the leitmotif here as the guitarist adds rasgueado and slurred fingering to his output. Meanwhile Siwula’s alto saxophone becomes a cauldron of fiery intensity, shoving irregular vibrato, overblowing and guttural tones into the mix. When the saxophone lines arch from echoing slurs to altissimo expansions and consecutive reed bites, Siwula’s jagged outpouring evolves alongside two-handed string taps and slides from the guitarist, and cross-handed bounces, rumbles and pops on the more orthodox rhythm instruments: drums and cymbals. With three separate contrapuntal lines developed, there’s even a point where Shurdut’s response to the saxophonist’s increasingly serrated split tones is weighty scraping that sounds as if it come from scouring a body-encasing rub-board that’s a fixture of Zydeco music. Osborne, who has a degree in percussion performance and has studied with legendary Free Jazz percussionist, Milford Graves, is low key throughout. Discreet and unfussy, his work is concentrated on cymbal textures and pinpointed drum-top taps even on the lively “Etuning the Warehouse”, the closest thing to a percussion showcase here. Although Latinesque and Middle Eastern timbres surface, along with an unexpected press roll on that track, rhythmic creation still takes place in an improvisational context. Osborne’s drum sound is also cushioned by the guitarist’s amp drones and palm taps plus the saxophonist’s repeated split tones and reed vibrations. Simula’s reed expressions are opaque, cyclical and siren-like on “Etuning the Lumber Yard”. But his honks and reed bites turn mellow enough to integrate with the others once Osborne’s ruffs, rolls and rim shots join with Shurdut’s conga-drum-like guitar body smacking to give the sax man a base upon which he can improvise. Like the other tracks, however, no triple-tongued overblowing from the reed, abstracted cymbal and snare coloring from the drummer or slurred fingering and resonating string taps from the guitarist exists in isolation. Each player’s output combines into interconnective polyphony. By synchronizing their musical pulsations to the aural textures of New York City, referencing everything from “from the wood rattling against the heater” to “the screams of the garbage trucks at 4 am” as Shurdut puts it, this trio has created an arresting urban sound picture. Just as the reality of big city life is expressed by yoking extended techniques to familiar jazz instruments, this CD defies metropolitan anomie with heartfelt sonic expressions that interconnect rather than alienate. -www.jazzword.com -INTO Magazine May 2010 JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT Daniel Spicer reports from New York City, where a new strain of free jazz is making waves in the underground, and meets the ‘anti-jazz’ musicians crossing genre and generation in search of extreme sounds.


JAZZ AND ANTI-JAZZ
By: Daniel Spicer

'I don’t particularly like it when people express music as being underground or above ground. This music is all around' -Jeffrey H. Shurdut

“We are not inside or outside, we are all sides. We are everybody’s music. The things we do are always new. And the new music will always be the new music.”

Multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut has a way with the sort of gnomic phrase you’d expect from an avant-garde musician working at the outer reaches of free-jazz. But his pronouncements disguise a busy pragmatism. Just out on the influential Paris- based (previously Scandinavian) improv label, Ayler Records, comes the latest instalment in Shurdut’s monumental Digital Box, adding almost another six hours of music to his already massive catalogue of live recordings captured in various locations around his native New York over the last few years, These are uncompromising, large-scale improvisations featuring a like- minded cast of wayward souls including veteran free-jazz saxophonist Daniel Carter, percussionist Lukas Ligeti (son of composer György) and Gene Moore (elder brother of Sonic Youth’s Thurston). Shurdut steers a course through it all, sometimes rumbling away on piano, other times pouring fire from an alto saxophone, or scrabbling in the guts of an electric guitar. It’s a testament to the music’s visceral impact that – still only in his early forties – Shurdut has impressed Ayler Records enough to make him the first living artist to warrant his own box-set on the label. So, perhaps you’d expect him to be a feted artist in his hometown. After all, New York is the home of jazz, instantly synonymous with just about every major development in the music since it migrated north from its New Orleans roots early in the 20th century. From the darkened clubs and cigarette smoke of the be-bop era, to the lofts and dashikis of the free-jazz movement, New York is jazz. But, far from reaping the rewards of fame, Shurdut remains part of a close-knit group of musi- cians operating on the fringes of jazz, largely unrecognised at home. You won’t see them playing at big-name clubs like the Village Vanguard or the Blue Note, but you might see them up-close and personal at tiny hipster hangouts like the Cakeshop on the Lower East Side, lodged like an unruly thorn in the heart of the world’s jazz capital. You’d probably call this “underground” music, but Shurdut remains dubious (and typically esoteric) about such terms: “I don’t particularly like when people express music as being ‘underground’ or ‘above ground’. This music is all around. It’s not where it’s played, just that it is played. All things that were once considered different are now part of the ‘mainstream.’ I think that no matter how one may want to cate- gorise what we are doing, it is more about the ‘always now’, and it transcends people of all ages and every culture.” work demonstrating, where possible, any work in the field of con-temporary music.

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut - The Williamsburg Sessions II (Ayler Records, 2007) ****
Here is another excellent record by Ayler Records, by Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut on guitar and amplifier, Blaise Siwula on alto sax, Brian Osborne on drums. Shurdut is the "inventor" of environmental tuning or "Etuning" with which he is trying to reflect the sounds of every day life. On this album the three environments are the lumber yard, the warehouse and the waterfront. Hence the titles of the three tracks "Etuning The Lumber Yard", "Etuning The Warehouse" and "Etuning The Waterfront". It sounds silly but it shouldn't put you off : the music is great. Jeffrey Shurdut uses his guitar to bring back to life the sounds that he heard at these locations, with or without electronic changes. Osborne carefully plays his percussion around this, gentle and precise, with all the attention going to Siwula's wonderful playing on the alto. "Etuning The Lumberyard" starts with slow blowing and soft-spoken guitar and drums, but gradually the rhythms get more halting, louder and uptempo, industrial if you want, noise if you like, but still focused and rhythmic, then falling away completely for some beautiful solo alto, a little sad that the end of the day has arrived and all activity has clearly stopped in the lumberyard. On the second track Siwula's melodic and bluesy blowing flows like waves over the splintered drone created by guitar and drums, structureless, even-toned. The third track "Etuning The Waterfront" is by far the best. Now drums and guitar create regular sounds but in an irregular way, coming and going, like boats or heavy trucks passing by or power-drills or helicopters, and through those sounds Siwula is playing his plaintive, melancholy notes, adding the emotional contrast to the harsh sounds, then, as the music slowly evolves, all of these background noises coalesce into a wall of noise, and Siwula turns up the volume, playing anguished, painful melodies, and when the wall of noise becomes rhythmic and counter-rhythmic like hell, the sax is being drawn in by the rhythm, generating some hair-raising distress, maybe even terror, and when at the end the rhythm becomes tribal, hypnotic and intense, Siwula starts playing repetitive phrases for the first time since the beginning of the record, and once he does that ... magic emerges, as if he's become totally sucked up by and surrendering to the madness around him, sounding like a self-sacrificing liberation. Stunning.
Ken Waxman



The nolabels Years:
http://www.sonnysimmons.org/shurdut.htm


CADENCE MAGAZINE

By: Frank Rubolino
The Spartan record company No Labels of JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT, while shy on documentation and production frills, continues to issue challenging improvised music at a prolific rate. On PRISONERS OF HOPE (NoLabels 3968), the guitarist teams with tenor saxophonist KALAPARUSHA MAURICE McINTYRE in a scintillating duet of free exchanges (Cultural Bankruptcy in the United States/ A Gift Watch for 35 Years of Service/ Heaven and Earth Discontinued/ Hope/ 401K Blues/ Alone/ Degrees for No Jobs/ What Health Insurance?/ Work Will Make You Free. 36:10, 2003, 2005, presumably New York, NY). Shurdut uses his amplifier as an additional instrument to smear huge amounts of color over this abstract canvas. His input, including computer processing, becomes the backdrop for McIntyre to move through an array of emotional experiences while projecting impassioned, penetrating messages. His saxophone weeps with sentiment as Shurdut's electronic pulsations subtly wrap the sound. Shurdut's droning sparks and robust flow of electricity contrast with McIntyre's gutwrenching soulfulness to make this encounter meaningful and satisfying. JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT joins saxophonist/trumpeter DANIEL CARTER, cellist ANDREW BARKER, and drummer RAVI PADMANABHA on the live recording PEACE PRIZE FOR FREEDOM (NoLabels 3562). The setlong improvisation (Lessons in Morals, Values, and Mutual Respect through Free Music. 58:42, 2005, New York, NY) initially takes on ethereal qualities where upper register signals from Shurdut, who plays grand piano exclusively on this set, match the squeals bursting from Carter's and Barker's instruments. Carter expands the interaction with vivid trumpet blasts, being pushed by volatile outbursts from Padmanabha, infectious keyboard rumblings of Shurdut, and energized string manipulation by Barker. The action heats up even more when Carter transfers to his army of saxophones (listed simply as "all things that shine" in the sketchy notes). Carter is one of the most dominant musicians on the scene today, and his exhibition on this set further confirms that assessment. Telepathic collective improvisation becomes the order of the day as these four adventurers create intensity of high magnitude. Carter sears, Barker and Padmanabha incite, and Shurdut incisively probes on this absorbing display of dominance and power. JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT expands the group to a quintet on INTERNET ANNIE (NoLabels 3760). DANIEL CARTER again joins him, along with tenor saxophonist ELLIOTT LEVIN, percussionist JACKSON KRALL, and bassist ALBEY BALGOCHIAN. Levin and Carter play a cat and mouse game to warm up the proceedings as Shurdut returns to the guitar amplifier for the underlying coloration of this increasingly intense set. The saxophonists joust for position and then find a common ground from which to launch the attack. Carter alternates among a bevy of instruments and typically projects penetrating high tones in contrast to Levin's earthy tenor sound on the album's two tracks (WWW/ DDD. 37:03, 1/31/05, presumably New York, NY). The lengthier "DDD" is particularly exhilarating; Carter and Levin turn it up a notch, and Krall propels with his aggressive style while Shurdut and Balgochian put down a thick carpet of solidifying turmoil. Balgochian's agitated arco solo is in keeping with the pressure-cooker atmosphere generated by the group on this turbulent collectively improvised barnburner. They come up for air at intermittent points, but the action remains hot and heavy until the final wind-down. On A COST EFFECTIVE ORCHESTRA FOR THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE (NoLabels 4262), JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT constructs a massive sound by merging acoustic instrumentation with computer processing. With the guitarist/pianist are STEVE SWELL on trombone and WILL CONNELL JR. on alto, flute, and bass clarinet. The high-intensity free blowing drifts into a blizzard of electronic sound waves sweeping over a barren plain (13 untitled tracks. 38:07, 2002-2005, presumably New York, NY). Swell smears the landscape with bluster, Connell injects high-pitched screams, and Shurdut creates a guitar/piano blur that is forged into an acoustic/electronic blender. The tonality of the horns is filled with reverberant tension; Swell and Connell bounce projectiles off each other as Shurdut swirls eddies around them. On the final two short cuts, Shurdut uses sampled blowing from 1993-1994 by Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen to paint an even more raucous sound for the live trio. Shurdut changes the ambiance on one or two pieces, but typically, the action goes nonstop on this unique conceptual marriage of processes. On AMERICAN HOLOCAUST (NoLabels 3869), JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT sketches a vivid portrait of collective art with associates Blaise Siwula on tenor and other reeds; Enrico Oliva and Welf Dorr on alto sax; Nick Gianni on flute, violin, and tenor; Robyn Siwula on viola; and Chris Forbes on keyboards. Using music to make a political statement, Shurdut weaves in varied movements of alternating tempo as this septet builds the dynamics to a fever pitch between more pastoral segments (401K/Corporate Slavery/ Our Communist Army, Socialist Family, and Dictatorship Corporate Structures/ Winning Without a Majority. 42:44, 2005, presumably New York). Shurdut again plays the guitar amplifier as the tonal foundation of this evolving drama. The four woodwinds create quite a stir in front of the penetrating viola input of R. Siwula. The violist and Gianni on violin produce vibrant stimulation to augment the woodwinds. In contrast to his totally improvised releases, Shurdut blends in structural elements on this set as a springboard for the band to leap into open expression. The combination is just the ticket to exciting music. DOWNTRODDEN MASS (NoLabels 4064) finds JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT again with saxophonist/trumpeter Daniel Carter, flutist Nick Gianni, and saxophonist Enrico Oliva. They are joined by Motoko Shimizu (voice, toy recorder and tiny drums) and Jerome James (percussion, voice and chanting). The music has solemn qualities built into its freewheeling exterior (two untitled tracks. 56:27, 12/18/04. New York, NY). James and Shimizu mete out a compelling beat while the horn players design an unstructured hymn of quiet beauty. James' subdued chanting and Shimizu's spiritual vocal cries are buried in the core of these extended live selections. Consistent with his previous efforts, Shurdut remains an underlying force with his ambient guitar and amplifier textures. The reverent quality of the music is infectious; on the second selection, Carter, Oliva, and Gianni pour mournful messages through their horns while James emits husky throat grunts offset by Shimizu's high-pitched psalms and Shurdut's subtle whistling. An Indigenous American rhythm surfaces amidst the collective praying. Carter's flute musings add further to the mystique of this impressive example of freedom typically cloaked in sereneness but ending with a flourish. Alto saxophonist LUTHER THOMAS leads the team with JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT (this time only on piano), soprano saxophonist/bassist NICK GIANNI, and drummer MIKE FORTUNE on yet another Shurdut release on THE RAP (NoLabels 4163). The quartet rips into the short set with aggressive blowing by Thomas while Shurdut runs the keys in the upper register (two untitled tracks. 31:01, 2005, Queens, NY). The lengthier second cut kicks off with a recurring bass pattern by Gianni and consistent drum rhythms by Fortune to spur Shurdut into deep concentration on his opening solo. Shurdut's rumbling explorations butt up against the structured rhythms to provide contrast and stability. Thomas can be heard in the far background with verbal phrasing that presumably is the source of the recording's title. He then joins the others with a slowly built alto exercise as the quartet begins to gel. Thomas periodically adds yodeling background between his saxophone sprints, which at one point touches the outer perimeter of "My Favorite Things." Thomas's demanding call for "noise" changes the ambiance to primal screaming and aggressiveness by all. The dual personality of the piece makes it a rewarding endeavor on all fronts. SPIN-17 members ED CHANG and MOTOKO SHIMIZU, a duo specializing in experimental sound, interact with JEFFREY HAYDEN SHURDUT on 21ST CENTURY FOLK MUSIC VOL 3 (NoLabels 3661). Shurdut returns to guitar, underscoring Chang's saxophone, percussion, and shortwave infusions, and Shimizu's voice, toys, and turntable output. Droning waves of electronics smother this live collective encounter of space-age ferocity (eight untitled tracks. 53:17, 8/13/05, New York, NY). The buzzing of digital devices penetrates the atmosphere; Chang and Shimizu manipulate their array of instruments and accessories to piercing ends where their individual input becomes swallowed in the swirling mass of music/noise. Chang's screeching saxophone, which erupts in non-stop volcanic fashion on several cuts, is stirred into a mixture of high-pitched guitar screams and higher-pitched vocal phrasing. On three tracks, percussionist Ravi Padmanabha enlists in the cacophonous conflict that becomes tempered in spots by the rhythmic pulsation before returning to static-driven collective improvisation. Sheer energy spurs this set, yet the music has distinctive and intelligible communicative qualities*particularly from the saxophone contributions of Chang.
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