Dennis Rea, readers may recall, is the Seattle-based guitar innovator, composer and bandleader with a number of excellent recent albums under his belt as leader of Moraine, Iron Kim Style, and under his own name (do a search on the top of this page for my review articles).
He teams with altoist Wally Shoup and drummer Tom Zgonc for a collectively free-avant improvisation date, Subduction Zone (self-released).
This is pull-out-the-stops out freedom of an advanced sort. There are seven collective improvisations on the disk, all fully charged with high-voltage expression.
Shoup gives forth with the emotive wails, fanfares and hard-scrabbled sax work appropriate to the genre. Zgonc applies an all-over rock-heavy leverage to the sound, in multi-layered torrents of freetime. Dennis excels in a highly electric, heavily sound-colored series of onslaughts that alternatively soar, break up into fragments of noise patterns, and provide a melodic and textural outness that helps give the trio a specific, distinctive sound ambiance.
This is avant improv of the swashbuckling sort. They move together in cohesive directions. They go for the big sound. And they do it all with a sense of drama that gets your attention and keeps it riveted throughout. If you love adventure and electricity, Subduction Zone will be a place you'll want to visit frequently.