I Have Eaten the City I Have Eaten the City

Sometimes musicians, especially younger ones, don’t know when to quit when it comes to free improv. Seventy minutes of continuous improv? Sure, if Cecil Taylor can do it, we should all be so inspired... Fortunately, although the three tracks that compose I Have Eaten the City's debut recording never fall short of 20 minutes, each one remains interesting. One helpful factor is that two of the players move from instrument to instrument, which, as with Sam Rivers’ work, keeps the line-up fresh within each extended piece. Another strong point is cellist/keyboardist Nick Storring’s use of electronically processed sounds as a lead instrument rather than as a soundscape generator; a tactic all too common in contemporary improvised music. Saxophonist/guitarist Colin Fisher and Storring are able to act both as lead and support voices, while exploring the tonal and textural qualities of their gear all at once. Drummer Brandon Valdivia, although a fine player, rarely runs the show. Perhaps that’s just the dynamic of the band, but I’d like to hear him initiate more ideas for the others to follow — usually Storring fulfils that role. Storring’s cello is a valuable asset to this ensemble; it balances between bass and midrange, weaving in well with Fisher’s contributions. One wonderful passage towards the end of track two features a serpentine duet between cello and sax; it’s almost impossible to pick them apart and the overall effect is like a hyper-aggressive Theremin. These guys don’t hold anything back on this recording; it’s a howling, multi-textured flight into the noise-jazz outer spaceways. (Independent)