Zerx Records & Press


Out of Context -reviews

ZERX 013

(live at the outpost performance space)
J.A. Deane (conducting, live-sampling, bass flute), Stefan Dill (guitars), Steve Feld (euphonium), Tom Guralnick (soprano sax, electronics), Katie Harlow (cello), Rod Harrison (acting), Joseph Sabella (drums), Courtney Smith (harp), Alicia Ultan (viola), Jefferson Voorhees (drums), Mark Weaver (tuba)

Reviews :

…A conjuring of musical gold… The Out Of Context ensemble is a shining, chimeric beast that’ll make you want to get up and scream.
(The Santa Fe Reporter)
…A brilliant ensemble… Deane’s music unfolds with a refreshing variety.…A strange and intensifying roller coaster of sound… Brilliant stuff.
(Cadence-The Review Of Creative Improvised Music)

…conduction does create a completely different kind of music from group improvisation...The semi-orchestral textures, which can be obtained from the technique, are nigh on impossible without a conductor. The conductor must be a good one, of course, but Deane is, and the music here doesn't falter for a moment.The disk contains three pieces spanning over two years, and each has its own flavor. The first is a sweeping, delicate piece, which would work as a soundtrack, or as a piece for dance; for this listener, it was the high spot.The second is dominated by the presence of Rod Harrison, reading a weird collage of Marat/Sade,"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and a selection of other texts, his voice ducking in and out of the music which swirls around him like rough water, threatening to drown him out but never competing too strongly. It works much better than one might have imagined, although Harrison does get rather excitable at times, and it's a pretty confrontational performance.The third is more textural, with a dark, amorphous quality; it requires a little more work from the listener, but rewards it well enough. The performances documented here are quite different from Butch Morris's, and quite different from one another. Anyone with an interest in conduction would be well advised to seek it out; this is top-quality stuff, from a practitioner who ought to be better known, and it's pretty clear that there are some strong talents on the sharp end of the baton, too. Good stuff.
(Musings- The Archive)

Writing flexible music for a large ensemble of improvisers is one of the most difficult tasks in contemporary music. Despite this challenge, J.A.Deane has done a pretty remarkable job here of creating interesting and unique music with an ensemble that really makes the fusion of composition and improvisation quite seamless. The opening track, “One For Frank”, is primarily a soft and flowing piece, highlighted by the beautiful interplay of guitarist Stefan Dill and harpist Courtney Smith.The second track is somewhat of a head scratcher; dominated by Rod Harrison’s emotional poetic rantings about this and that, the ensemble compliments him nicely with energetic improvisational blasts and ostinato figures. Sounding like some sort of narrative stage-play, it’s a surprisingly successful piece.“The Arc Of Intention” begins with electronically processed, swelling bass sounds and picks up speed into loud and hectic ensemble passages. Deane’s compositions are very far removed from the jazz vein and are a lot more derived from classical music and in particular, serialism.This is an impressive release and will be a pleasant surprise to many who may not have heard (of) the musicians included. Recommended.

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