The Mark of Excellence


Goodbye Lucille

By David DacksOne of the more encouraging signs of the Torontopian sensibility is the embrace of the deep jazz introspection and beats of Feuermusik. Their template is perfect for busking: woodwinds and amplified buckets. Like busker music, the circular motifs of the parts makes sense: these forms could be extended miles beyond their length record — provided there were enough extra horns to pull it off "on the corner” as it were. Tunes are very Brötzmann-like in terms of their demands on lung power — tunes like "Doppelspiel” sound like a particularly taxing exercises. But this is no off-the-floor session. Overdubs of massed horns make a huge difference, with luxurious and elegantly tailored arrangements ensuring that this album will get repeat play. Huge chords of clarinets and saxes are massed together with more than a nod to Mingus, but they end up sounding more like the soulful dissonance of ROVA or Vinnie Golia. Gus Weinkopf's bucket drumming tends toward 16 beats to the bar, but as the disc wears on he deploys more tricks to make the percussive elements more situational than continuous. His work on a full kit on the last track "Recessional” is a disc highlight — full of subtlety that the buckets can’t deliver. His contributions fuse Strachan’s lushly aggressive work to a solid groove reminiscent of the "tribal” drumming in no wave and early ’80s dance rock.
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