Sunday, August 5, 2007
Joe Morris - Rebus (Clean Feed, 2007) **½
This new album by Joe Morris, Ken Vandermark and Luther Gray looked promising with those names on the cover, but after several listens, I must admit that I do not quite understand this music. There is some fierce playing going on here, very atonal and uncompromising, but I'm unsure of what they're trying to achieve or what it's all leading to. Joe Morris is of course a special kind of guitar player, with a style all his own, often limiting himself to playing fast notes without coherence, without structure, stuttering, sputtering without end. On one of his better albums "Beautiful Existence" he plays very much in the same vein, but not only like that, and that CD also includes some great compositions such as "King Cobra". Ken Vandermark is of course skilled enough to play along, to dive into Morris's music with his tenor skills, and Luter Gray is powerful too on drums. But strong musicians may be a necessary condition for great music, but not a sufficient one, as is again demonstrated here.
Downloadable on emusic.com