Bone Structure Bone Structure

Those familiar with his turn as band leader on Saturday Night Live may not be aware of G.E. Stinson's existence pre- and post- television gig. Bone Structure is a quartet formed by Stinson in 1997 which includes Gregg Bendian, Jeff Gauthier and Steuart Liebig. Their debut recording is composed of two live improvised sessions recorded in 2000. The tracks are split between exploratory, upbeat pieces reminiscent of early fusion workouts by Weather Report or Return to Forever. Others are fractured, spacious, microtonal examinations of the minutiae of interplay. Bendian's recent work has featured his vibes playing, but here he returns to his drum kit to propel and colour the movement of the quartet. Stinson himself is the most surprising. He extends his guitar beyond normal conventions (especially his SNL blues style playing) using an array of implements and strategies akin to Elliott Sharp or Fred Frith. The album is not without its missteps, but overall is an enjoyable foray into improvised jazz. (Cryptogramophone)