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Creeley/Massey/Swallow/Cast/Torn: Have We Told You All You'd Thought to Know?

This might be one of the most unique CD's I have heard all year, and one that really defies any sort of classification. Poet Robert Creeley got together with a few hot jazz and progressive players for a live show and this unusual but effective recording is the result.

Robert Creeley is somewhat of a legend among modern day poets, and is in fine company here as a few of the players, especially bassist Steve Swallow and guitarist David Torn, have been involved in some classic recordings in their careers. Much of the music has a very jazz/avante-gard feel that sounds completely improvised, with Creeley's spoken words drifting in and out every few minutes. At times what you hear is very atmospheric, chilling, and even down right spooky. Torn's guitar wails in and out of the mix, and he uses an assortment of wild effects and loops that seemingly reverberate to silence and then come roaring back. Sax player David Cast adds a nice jazzy touch to most of the pieces (I hesitate to call them songs) and adds a degree of normalcy when things start getting really bizarre. There are times, such as on the 17-minute "Words Scattered" that the band goes off into almost King Crimson territory, featuring wild improvisations that at times are beautiful and others terrifyingly monstrous.

Cuneiform needs to be commended for releasing such a unique and bold statement as this. While not for everyone, this CD can be appreciated by those looking for something different and certainly far from mainstream. There's no doubt that all the closet poets out there who by chance stumble upon this CD might feel a spark to get involved in a similar type project.

Added: November 27th 2001
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Cuneiform Records
Hits: 2659
Language: english

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