Exposé Online banner

Stick Men — Open
(7d Media 7D1313, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Open Cover artAfter 2011's Absalom, this is the second release by the Markus Reuter version of Stick Men, and it's a very different beast than that album. Rather than tightly composed, intimately rehearsed music, this is nearly a full hour of improvised sounds. Anyone who's caught the band at any of their live shows knows that improvisation is an integral part of their aesthetic, so it's good to have that documented on Open. It helps that they're all such skilled players who are acutely attuned to each other — it seems no matter how fiery the playing becomes, they manage to leave each other space to shine. The aural landscapes range from droning near-ambient overlapping loops to intense rhythmic workouts. For those who haven't seen the band live, there is some similarity to the kinds of textures found in later-period King Crimson improvisations (THRaKaTTaK). Aside from Pat Mastelotto's percussion, which is easily identifiable, the division of labor between Tony Levin and Markus Reuter is nearly impossible to deduce. While there are a few of the trademark Levinisms from time to time, most bits could be from either player. Of course, there are degrees of improvisation, and it's hard to tell how much planning went into these eight tracks, so I won't gush about telepathy. Suffice it to say that if you like the band's composed work, it's fairly likely this set will also appeal to you.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Stick Men

More info
http://iapetus-store.com/album/open
http://7dmedia.bandcamp.com/album/open

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Lees' Barclay James Harvest - Legacy Live at the Shelpherd's Bush Empire 2006 – The 2006 resurrection of Woolly Wolstenholme’s Maestoso gestated into a full on BJH reunion tour once guitarist John Lees got on board the rock and roll bandwagon. Picking a representative set list...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues