Saturday, June 18, 2016
Film in Music, formed in 2009 and led by cellist Peggy Lee, includes a formidable bunch of heavy hitters from the local jazz/improv/creative music scene. When you note that Jesse Zubot, Chris Gestrin, Ron Samworth and Dylan Van Der Schyff all contribute, no preview listening is required. You already know this will be good. Seeing them perform this album live earlier this month reminded me of cinematic post-rockers Do Make Say Think (whatever happened to them?), albeit at a much lower volume. Other bands come to mind as well; for example, “Epilogue to Part 1” roils along like Tortoise. The album intersperses full-band material with individual or small group performances. On his solo piece “Gruesome Goo,” Torsten Muller (acoustic bass) produces squeaks, growls and rattles from his instrument—suddenly you’re trying to bunk down in the world’s most haunted attic. Equally eerie is “Egg Hatched” by Gestrin/Lachance/Samworth. Based on the threatening pulses, plinks, and echoes presented, you don’t wanna know what entity has pecked its way out of that egg, that’s for sure. To label Van Der Schyff’s “An Eyeball for Dan” as a drum solo is accurate but inadequate, such is the avalanche of sonic surprises that tumbles forth. The TV series Deadwood was the inspiration, says the liner notes. By and large, the album’s tracks evoke a kind of Old West desolation. Even the jaunty moments are undercut with yearning for better times. Bursts of dissonance generate tension, hinting that not everything will be all right.