Cosa Brava Ragged Atlas

Fred Frith could've been a master editor in film, had he the inclination. This CD from his Cosa Brava ensemble clicks and whirrs like a well-oiled machine venturing into Astor Piazzolla romanticism and segueing into odd marriages between Beefheart meters and Celtic melody. Irony and gorgeous imagery flow from the compositions like they were born in Canvey Island, UK, but somehow wound up on permanent vacation in the Mediterranean. The curious thing is the fact that while this music approaches a rock aesthetic in timbre, it's held in firm check by a watchful compositional methodology. One senses an alertness that gives you the assurance of a stream of images with an end, as opposed to a means, in sight. This film has an end; you have no doubt of that. This is a sophisticated and thoroughly complete work. (Intakt)