Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Bruce Lindsay
Old monsters? They were frightening, gargantuan, mythical beasts: fire-breathing, blood-lusting and not at all willing to put together anything close to a danceable riff. New Monsters, at least as envisioned by bassist Steve Horowitz on this Posi-Tone album, are a much more engaging bunch. There's still some fire-breathing in evidence, but the blood lust is kept at bay in favor of an abundance of delightful melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
Horowitz, who favors the electric bass guitar rather than the upright acoustic instrument, is at the head of a quintet of experienced players. It's a tight, tough unit, capable of some very powerful playing but also of much subtler and more controlled musicianship, as shown on "Miracle Melancholy" and "Journey To The East."
While Horowitz leads the session, tenor saxophonist Dan Plonsey, a long-time collaborator, composed all of the original tunes. Plonsey, whose previous credits include work withAnthony Braxton, Tom Waits and Eugene Chadbourne, cheerfully throws a few curve balls with some fun titles. These are complemented by the cover art (another fine Posi-Tone design), but they don't always accurately signpost the mood of the music. "Vision Pyramid Collapse" is the best of these - an almost apocalyptic phrase which fronts a joyous tune that incorporates a slinky bass line, jangly prepared piano and a catchy saxophone riff. ... read more...
Personnel: Steve Adams (flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Dan Plonsey (tenor saxophone); Scott Looney (piano); Jim Bovee (drums).
Audio Mixer: Steve Horowitz.
Recording information: Studio 1510, Oakland, CA.