Tom Abbs Frequency Response: Conscription

Bassist/tubist Tom Abbs claims that the session that produced Conscription (CIMP) was borne of his frustration with world events of the time (it was recorded in April 2003), and it shows. Abbs recently appeared on Titration (Delmark) with drummer Chad Taylor’s Active Ingredients band, and Taylor appears here to return the favor. The band also includes Brian Settles on sax and flute and Okkyung Lee on cello. Together, they make murky, grumpy music that refuses to sort itself out, and so Abbs’ frustration becomes the listener’s frustration. Taylor is a welcome presence here, and he imports some of the cool, streamlined drumming he provides as a member of the Chicago Underground. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make this recording any easier to listen to.