Friday, March 21, 2014

Jeff Platz, Past & Present Futures

Much good music these days comes from smaller, independent, sometimes musician-owned labels, especially with the sorts of music that appeal to a more specialized group of connoisseur-listeners.

We have a very good example of that today with guitarist Jeff Platz' Past & Present Futures (Glitch Records).

The session has definite, continuous liveliness. A free improv date it is, with a very motivated, together quartet of Jeff on electric guitar, Daniel Carter on saxophones, trumpet, clarinet and flute, Francois Grillot on contrabass and Federico Ughi on drums.

The rhythm section churns a continuous barrage that swings overtly or latently and does so with real grit and determination. Grillot sounds beautiful and his playing gives a cohesive bottom to it all. Ughi lays down a continuous wash of sound that makes a Zen sort of backdrop for the front line to bounce over and into.

Daniel Carter sounds excellent on all his instruments, turning in some of his best recent performances to date. And Jeff Platz mixes it up with outside lines that keep one listening, out chording and sound color jabs that leave space and let the rhythm build up various heads of steam. You get some blues and roots too in certain sections.

This gives you the sort of free music that goes back to "new thing" days in its continual torque. Like Steve Lacy's classic The Forest and the Zoo it has drive and near-infinite space to develop long-form ideas. Like that recording Platz and Carter give space and solo simultaneously or individually as the spirit moves, in ways that resonate with how Lacy and Rava interacted on that date. Of course what is being played is entirely different. Platz and Carter are themselves throughout.

It hangs together especially well as a cohesive quartet statement. Platz makes free guitar in his own image, so to say, and the quartet gives him inspiration throughout. An excellent date. Recommended for those stratus climbing listeners who have learned to flow with freedom music!

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