Gratkowski / Brown / Winant Wake

Gratkowski / Brown / Winant Wake
Multi-reedist Frank Gratkowski admits in the liner notes to Wake that it was pianist and electronics wizard Chris Brown's idea to add percussionist William Winant to their duo. His admission that Winant is the perfect complement to the pair's raucous, high-energy improvisational style is right on the money. These five lengthy pieces, recorded live at Mill's College in California (where Brown is a professor of music), are filled with highly animated, almost fluttery passages that are never allowed to descend into cacophony. Being expert listeners, as well as masterful players, the trio never lose sight of the direction a particular piece is headed - a somewhat warped sense of logic is constantly at play. The interjection of silence at certain periods constructs a tension that's graciously toppled by the forcefulness of the music that follows. Wake flows like rough seas - choppy but vigorous. (Red Toucan)