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Trevor Dunn: Debutantes and Centipedes

Bassist-composer Dunn has come up with an intriguing twist on the guitar trio format. His idea involves lots of liberty for wacky invention balanced with a goodly amount of discipline to navigate through some rather demanding heads. Guitarist Adam Levy (one half of the two-guitar attack in Joey Baron’s latest band, Killer Joey) joins with Dunn and ubiquitous drummer Kenny Wollesen for this unconventional trio date, which is marked by heightened interplay, an audacious sense of creativity and a fearless commitment to group improvisation.

They drift from sensitive offerings like “Perfumed With Crime” and “Aromatherapy” to metalesque fury like “An Attempt at Jealousy,” “Echidna” and “Ann-Margret,” an open-ended noise jam freakout in which Dunn treats his upright bass with a Mu-Tron pedal and Levy cranks the distortion box up to 11.

There is a niche audience for this defiant stuff. It’s the crowd that is equally open to Frank Zappa and Sonny Sharrock, Derek Bailey and Naked City, Painkiller and Mingus. Dunn seems to be drawing on all of those influences on this provocative debut, which is not for the faint of heart. But more adventurous listeners may want to go there.

Originally Published