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October 2000

Rich Woodson's Ellipsis
Control and Resistance
Cuneiform Records

Electric guitarist Rich Woodson's chamber group Ellipsis (soprano saxist Peter Epstein, tenor saxist Aaron Stewart, bassist Matt Fieldes and drummer John Hollander) plays nine of his compositions on Control and Resistance. The music, which exhibits jazz, 20th century classical and rock influences, is tightly arranged, with little room for solo improvisation, though Woodson seems to be an excellent soloist.
Partly because of Woodson's unusual but skillful blending of genres, many listeners will find this music challenging, though the classical influences that he's drawn on aren't particularly modern. The angularity of Woodson's pieces, which are filled with wide intervals and abrupt stopping and starting, is somewhat muted by the saxophones' soft textures. But Woodson has exhibited some originality on Control and Resistance and I'd like to hear more of his writing and playing.

Originally published in October 2000
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