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Greg Kelley, Jason Lescalleet

Forlorn green

Label: Erstwhile Records

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock


The press release is disingenuous in describing "Forlorn Green" as "lo-fi": even if Jason Lescalleet's work involves tapeloops using cheap recording gear and "trashed" speakers, his digital reworking and mastering is painstakingly perfectionist ­ and perfect. Recorded in four different locations in the Boston area (a church, a gallery, an art school and the local Twisted Village record store) and crafted in Lescalleet's studio with what can only be described as loving care, the sonic alchemy of this work is breathtaking. Almost all the material was sourced from Greg Kelley's extraordinary trumpet playing, recorded onto microcassettes and morphed by Lescalleet into soundscapes that will have you pinching yourself in disbelief ­ is it a double bass? A contrabass clarinet? A foghorn? A helicopter? Though predominantly slow moving and spacious, there's nothing chilled-out and soporific here ­ instead a fantastic attention on the part of the musicians to details not only of structure and timbre, but also (rare these days) pitch. This is the new musique spectrale ­ describing it as "improvised music" is strictly untrue, and moreover fails to do justice to Lescalleet's meticulous montage. There's a truly three-dimensional sense of depth to the mix (Giacinto Scelsi's idea of spherical sound comes to mind), and even if these guys can tear it up when they want to ­ witness Kelley's scorching work on Paul Flaherty's "The Ilya Tree" (Boxholder) and Lescalleet's teeth-grinding noisefests with Ron Lessard in Due Process ­ that violence is here channelled into something quiet but equally intense. There are occasional disturbing moments ­ the jack-jerking flutters and growls of "Tight Spot" ­ but the final exquisite "Autumn Leaves", with its slowly pulsing distant drones is as rich and dark as Audrey Lescalleet's gorgeous cover art. Quite simply outstanding. (The Wire, Dan Warburton)

Cat. number: erstwhile 019
Year: 2001