The Mark of Excellence

Brodie West

The Law of the Meander

By Nick StorringBrodie West's breathily angular sax tone has never been presented with such intimacy as on this odd little solo tape from Toronto, ON's Healing Power. West is known as a member of various Toronto outfits, including Drumheller and Eucalyptus, as well as a collaborator with Dutch avant-punks the Ex and legendary free-jazz drummer Han Bennink, not to mention celebrated Ethiopian musicians such as Getachew Mekuria. West's style, which is full of curt, slippery phrases and tentative-sounding tangents, can definitely be disconcerting upon first listen; it's almost as though you're eavesdropping on him humming to himself as he does the dishes, or glancing at a few smudged bars of a tune jotted on the back of a napkin. However, it's apparent that the curious, soggy sound world heard on The Law of the Meander is something unique, rich and cultivated. He's using various neglected spectra of the instrument to articulate a gently fractured lyricism that's completely his. It's a humble and highly personal contribution to a lineage that can eventually be traced back to Monk and Ornette.
(Healing Power)
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