No Glue - @ Higher Ground ? 9/7/00

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:20:00

This release from the trio known as No Glue was recorded ... improvised ... live at a performance in September of 2000. Comprised of three tracks, the first is more than 25 minutes in length. Greg Matses' guitar at one point during this first track, "Welcome My Sun," squeals and squeaks like a tortured pig -- in a way, not unlike the honking of a sax; ear-splittingly sharp turns in a tight space. The arrangements are angular -- meaning that King Crimson come to mind a bit, but more often than not, one thinks of other jazz-fusion trios (or groups). And yet, there is also a rather ambient passage, with the soundscapes created not by a bank of keys, but a guitar synth. The underlying menace brings to mind Kopecky and Djam Karet. The other corner of the trio is Gabe Jarrett on drums and "unusual" beats. It's hard to believe that they didn't have some sort of plan or framework in mind when they took to the stage. Rounding it out and nailing everything down is Stacy Starkweather on a loose, throbbing bass.

What I love about this kind of instrumental music, and especially when it's done right, is the journey one takes listening to it. With a track of this length (the other two clock in at 11:53 and 17:02, respectively), one expects the sonic exploration to become tedious; what keeps it fresh and interesting is that one or the other or all three will follow a sonic idea and keep developing the theme, stretching it. There are points here where you are almost certain that you hear flutes - not lilting exactly... more like the pied piper gone off the deep end. The only additional instrument to the line up, though, is the saxophone of Dave Grippo that guests on "Guest Speaker," the closing piece, a warm, laidback piece. The band is relaxed, following their Muse wherever she takes them.

The second piece, "Even If It's Wrong" is much moodier than the first -- even though the instruments are in the same room, they are playing by themselves -- the image that comes to mind is of three individuals in a large room, each very much inside their own head; yet miraculously what each is thinking meshes together into a very coherent thought (or maybe I just shouldn't have watched The X-Files last night). That is to say, Starkweather is over there, thrumming away; Matses is over here, playing organ like sounds on his guitar synth, while Jarrett is making cascades of shimmering sound with his cymbals. About halfway in, it's like they realize this connection, consciously transmitting their thoughts to each other, not trying to out do each other, but one or the other taking the lead, revealing some insight.

There is so much going on here that I had to listen to the CD dozens of times. I realized, of course, that was just an excuse. Really, I was diggin' it so much that I couldn't form an opinion; it'd mean I'd have to write the review and move on to the next disc (no slight against what ever that disc will be (was), of course). If you can't get enough of fusiony, avant-garde jazz, then you should add this to your collection -- they're No Glue and they'll stick to you.

Welcome My Sun (25:25) / Even If It's Wrong (11:53) / Guest Speaker (17:02)

Gabe Jarrett - drums, "unusual" beats
Stacy Starkweather - bass, disturbances (right channel)
Greg Matses - guitar, guitar synthesizer (left channel)
Dave Grippo - sax (3)

No Glue (1999)
@ Higher Ground ... 9/7/00 (2000)
Signal To Noise ... 3/23/00 (2000)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: May 20th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 572
Language: english


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