Iron Kim Style — Iron Kim Style
(Moonjune MJR031, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01It starts out with a loose groove and wah-wah trumpet, so the first impression is of electric Miles Davis, though with more guitar and no keyboards. Later, as more diverse elements show up, that impression fades somewhat. This is adventurous electric jazz by a group consisting of two guitars (6- and 12- string), trumpet, bass and drums, with guest bass clarinet on two tracks. While the music is completely improvised, there's a coherence and musicality that is lacking in many unscripted recordings. There's no shortage of hot playing, but these guys have the good sense not to step on each others' toes, so when the trumpet's flurry of notes runs its course, one of the guitars will step up to take the lead for a while. Though tonality may be in constant flux, tempos usually are not, ranging from slow swirling swells to dark funk to quick bop (I really love the fast atonal walking bass lines). In addition to the Miles comparison, I'm reminded at times of Soft Machine in the Third to 5 era, again with guitar replacing the keys, and also (when they get noisy) of some of Crimson's improvs. One of the guitarists is Dennis Rea of Moraine, and the drummer is Jay Jaskot, formerly of that band; the others have impressive resumes as well (no room here for details), and all come together in service of one of the most listenable freely improvised recordings I can recall in recent years.
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