The ‘70s are earmarked in jazz as a time of great exploration with artists like Dave Brubeck and Max Roach rising up the ranks to attain mainstream notoriety with their contributions to bop-inspired romps and avant winged jaunts. The Glenious Inner Planet led by bassist Glen Ackerman seem reminiscent of that time solidifying their explorations on their self-titled release from Blue Bamboo Music.
Ackerman’s rapport with his bandmates shows spontaneous conversations that draw insight into the multiple ways that instruments can communicate with one another and act as a stimulant to move the dynamics of a piece into abstract shapes. Rather than strictly moving in linear patterns and symmetrical phrases, Ackerman and his band form zigzagging complexes, squiggling exchanges, and freestyle notations that express their own individual voices. The most conventional harmonic forms that the band constructs are the soft winsome riffs of “… this Lontano I” which flask a sonically tranquilizing twining, but their other tracks are much more profound and put together by using patchwork platelets that layer the instruments and have them connecting and protruding at odd angles like in “Blue Rondo a la Road” and “There Is A Drop Of Roppongi On My Shorts.”
Ackerman’s funky doodles along “Inner Planet” produce a palpitating rhythm in the undertow which glides into a traditional bop pulse in “The Thing And The Thing That Makes The Thing The Thing.” Fiery guitar chords blaze to the forefront in “4 Is A Feeling” alongside sand-blasted saxophone scrolls as the twisted fragments of “The Angel Of The Odd” show that Ackerman’s band is bent on flexing their autonomy even at the expense of not making sense to the listener.
The Glenious Inner Planet take avant jazz to a cross section where harmony meets discord. Some conversations might be beyond the listeners comprehension but there are others like “…this Lontano 1” and “The Thing And The Thing That Makes The Thing The Thing” which make perfect sense to listeners even when the meaning of the tracks titles escape them.
Glen Ackerman - bass, Joel Fulgum - drums, JD Guzman - drums, Paul Chester - guitar, Chris Cortez - guitar, Ted Wenglinski - keyboards, Woody Witt - saxophone
Blue Rondo a la Road, There Is A Drop Of Roppongi On My Shorts, Inner Planets, Khalil, Potato Wagon, … this Lontano 1, The Thing And The Thing That Makes The Thing The Thing, 4 Is A Feeling, The Angel Of The Odd
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