Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano's Low Cost Space Flights is a tough recording that has no fear of a high pitched squawk or a tumble of the drums. I wonder, as I sit here enrapt with the music pouring out of the speakers, what drives discerning listeners to seek out such difficult music?
Maybe one reason is that the music is from such an honest and pure place that the vitality of it makes such an uncompromising blast of energy so fascinating. From the primal to the sublime, there is so much that reflects the hard to articulate feelings of our everyday existence that it takes music like this to help us say it.
Perhaps too it's that the New England based duo of saxophonist Flaherty and drummer Corsano have a long creative history and their ease and effortless rapport is evident. Plus, Corsano is a master of creating a pulse that is both dense and supportive and light and responsive. It's a pleasure to hear him create such a big sound with Flaherty.
And there is also the sound. Flaherty seamlessly vacillates between high pitched overtones, gutsy squalls and rich melodic lines. The 17 minutes of 'The Dog Paintings of George W. Bush' - from the title to the tone - captures anguish, terror, defeat as well as beauty and perseverance. The next track, 'Oranga Tang', is probably just a splice of the session that produced the first piece. Beginning as a solo run for Flaherty, by the end the sax has become a firehose drenching the listener with music. Each track that follows is a series of juxtapositions of tone, tempo and turn taking. The album closes on a high note - literally. The squeak that 'Drunk-Faced Sun' begins with ends up a melee with the drums by the end.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this low cost space flight and being flung through that often vast empty space of my head, I acknowledge that I have not really answered my original question. However, here is one I can: "Is this music everyone would enjoy?" Nope. But chances are if you're reading this blog, it just may be for you.
Limited edition LP and digital download.