OK so by now the second HOTG album has been released – but two things. I
haven't heard the new one yet. And I'll be late for my own damn funeral, so
here's what happened the first time around. As you probably already know,
HOTG is D.C. Bassist / workaholic / impresario Luke Stewart's trio with
Jarrett Gilgore (alto) and Ian McColm (drums). The cassette is already sold
out – but you can get a download for a mere five bucks on Bandcamp, which I
highly recommend getting. Cassettes suck anyway.
Gilgore & McColm kick things off with a bang, soon joined by Stewart.
Around the 2:30 mark, it goes quiet w/ Ian on brushes. Gilgore's lines
become fairly long and oddly accented, like he's having an intense
conversation with himself as Luke and Ian attempt to push things in a new
direction. Stewart bows wildly as group intensity rises. A rickety boat
begins to sink following the freak-fest. You can almost smell the rust on
this manliest of vessels. The members of the trio align themselves to the
sole cause of getting the thing to shore. Conversations are tense, but
cooperative. As soon as it's docked, Luke lets loose with a riff and all
join in, pushing with forward momentum. Gilgore rides on top of the groove,
tethered to it, attempting to break free. Ian and Luke cage him.
A slower intro this time, leading into a thoughtful solo by Stewart.
Gilgore and McColm join in at the perfect time, elongating and elaborating
on ideas laid out by Stewart. Gilgore eventually takes the lead and sets a
melodic pace for awhile, even as Luke and Ian begin scraping and scratching
underneath. As you might expect, Luke & Ian get their way in the end,
with the music collapsing in on itself several times over. Poor Jarrett
Gilgore. Dude can't get a break. I hope the other guys aren't so jealous of
you the second time around!