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Comess, Aaron: Catskills Cry

What is it about albums by drummers? Aaron Comess, coming to a solo project via Spin Doctors, has given us an album as rare and musical as many by Bill Bruford. Going further back, Anysley Dunbar certainly had his retaliation. And Ginger Baker's Army, was well you decide.

While the styles are utterly unrelated, there is a sort of freeness to such music that seems the sole province of more adept timekeepers. When Bruford's Feels Good to Me came out the music, so confident, strange and wonderful, seemed slightly second-guessed by an odd compulsion in the liner notes to comment on how many different chords 80 if memory serves Mr. Bruford had learned. As if a musician of his calibre needed to somehow qualify himself as a composer. In a similar sort of twitch, Mr. Comess' notes seem unable to emphasize enough the terrifying (to some) fact that the album is instrumental.

Catskills Cry is not jazz or rock. It does not scroll through the more abstract reaches of Upper Extremities, nor does it give in to the more familiar flash of a Bozzio Levin Stevens. But it hints at any number of other musics along the way even some of the odd instrumental moments from the old James Gang records. The overall tone set by this outstanding trio Comess is joined by Bill Dillon on guitar and Tony Levin with his unmatched skill on bass and stick is completely contemporary and full of detail and shading and restraint. Never resorting to uncalled for or out-of-place showmanship, the music exhibits a fluid awareness of many influences and inflections without succumbing to the pat ease of simple derivation. If anything, there are allusions to another Bill, this time Bill Frisell, though the music here lives in a tighter, more uniform genre of its own making. Generally more recognizable and less eclectic than Frisell, but like Frisell this ensemble has the ability to perform with high finish and authentic spontaneity.

Track Listing
1) Flower
2) 3:33 am
3) Africa
4) Catskills Cry
5) Ode to Atilla
6) Future
7) Lullaby for Bkuzmo
8) Cap Juluca
9) Sky
10) Seventy-Six
11) Zapped

Added: January 26th 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: Aaron Comess Website
Hits: 2514
Language: english

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