Click here to [close]

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Joe Morris, Jon Voigt, Tom Plsek - The Graphic Scores of Lowell Skinner Davidson (Riti, 2009) ***

This album by Joe Morris on guitar, Jon Voigt on bass, and Tom Plsek on trombone is a tribute to multi-instrumentalist and composer Lowell Skinner Davidson, who died in 1990 from tuberculosis at the age of 49. Davidson recorded only one album, on ESP, with Gary Peacock and Milford Graves, yet he composed quite some material in his own kind of notation system. All three musicians knew him and played with him. That being said, the music sounds odd : little sounds that make up a calm and unfamiliar sonic environment, although the instruments themselves remain recognizable, even in their most extended use. Sometimes the trio shifts moods and speed, and it is hard to evaluate whether they react to one another or whether they really follow sheet music. Despite all the abstract little noises and sounds, sudden and extremely short boppish rhythms arise on several tracks, such as "Index Card#3", "Double Sheet" and "Gold Drop#1", but these are the exception. What Morris, Voigt and Plsek do is certainly very reverent, setting down a coherent and unique testament for a musician we will never really know, and who would have remained unknown if not for this tribute album. That alone deserves appreciation. The music itself, well, history will tell, but to me it's a little too abstract and emotionally distant.

Listen and buy from Aum Fidelity.

© stef