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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Daniel Carter, Chris Welcome, Shayna Dulberger, John McLellan - Singular (Empty Room, 2008) ****

Chris Welcome, on guitar, Shayna Dulberger on bass and John McLellan on drums have played and recorded before, in quartet and trio settings. For this release, they added avant-garde jazz veteran Daniel Carter on alto and tenor saxophones, Bb clarinet, flute, and trumpet, for a very calm, subdued and almost chamber jazz adventure of free improvisation. The whole focus of the band is on creating soft and gentle musical texture, very down-tempo, very sensitive and almost hesitatingly. The overall effect is one of absolute openness and space, with fragile and intimate sounds, that seem to meet each other uninentionally, surprised at this and moving along, friendly and hand-in-hand. Even the presence of the electric guitar and the drums do not create any volume or substance, they also limit themselves to providing accents, colorings, shadings, yet it moves forward coherently, flowing in the same direction. Daniel Carter changes instrument on every track, adding variety in approach to the tunes. He is far away from the music of Test or of Other Dimensions In Music in terms of overall timbre and effect, yet the deeply emotional and creative approach is also present in this utterly restrained and expressive sober music. Nice!

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