Friday, June 12, 2009

Splatter 3 + 2, Fistful of Dewey (Cadence 1992)

Review by Thom Jurek at

"Splattter Trio is a freewheeling jazz group who take improvisation to the wall on saxophones, Farfisa organs, guitar, bass, and drums. On this live date in a down joint called the Chameleon in San Francisco, they added another guitarist and percussionist and took as their font of inspiration the notion of change. Playing in a rock club, they throw their usual Splatterbook away and instead played a musical tribute to Miles Dewey Davis, who died a few weeks after the gig. Here are themes from "Jack Johnson," "On the Corner," "Get Up With It," "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," "Pangea," and "In a Silent Way," taken and turned inside out Splatter style. Here the originals become grooves and funky interludes for deepening pools of collective improvisation that held tight to the hypnosis of Miles' original terrorvision and extrapolated an entirely different music from it over the course of three suites. They evoked the dynamics, the strange modal riffs and drones, and made their own Bitches Brew. Some might call this shallow and a rip, but they'd be wrong, of course. This is what you're supposed to do with great music: become inspired by it and make something of your own. The deep bass and organ grooves here are worth the price of admission alone: dark, funky, sexy, and foreboding. The interplay of guitarists Myles Boisen (Splatter) and Len Patterson (non-Splatter) is truly amazing; nobody plays over anybody else, and these two cats move into double six-string or guitar and bass dialog as the percussionists toe-to-toe it and the saxophonists play lines and vamps across the front. This is trippy, driven jazz-rock at its best."

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