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1032K: That Which Is Planted

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Repertory bands tend to be a safe way to gain recognition, since the music of revered masters lures audiences more effectively than original compositions. The trio 1032K toys with that concept because the material they cover comes from Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill and his Air bandmate Steve McCall. This music makes an impact more through the performers’ skills than through the written compositions.

Ku-umba Frank Lacy (trombone, trumpet), Kevin Ray (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums) aren’t limited by the stripped-down format. Recorded live in Buffalo and Rochester, none of the five tunes dip below 10 minutes and each is time well spent. Their take on Ayler’s “Ghosts” gives the theme a more solid backbeat that gradually gets pulled apart. All of the players solo, with Ray’s arco and pizzicato work sounding especially exciting. Lacy opens Mingus’ “Ecclusiastics” with actual preaching, quoting from Ecclesiastes. One of Mingus’ more lumbering pieces, it gets new life from the boogaloo double-time that Ray and Drury add to the middle eight, and Lacy’s greasy muted trombone. Drury’s extended technique adds to his solo in McCall’s “BK,” where he unspools what sounds like a roll of duct tape on the drumheads. The trio also proves it can sustain a groove: Saxophonist Joe Ford’s infectious “Give It Some Thought” rolls on for over 16 minutes.

The name 1032K refers to the Planck temperature at which matter ceases to exist and physics break down. It fits this trio, since even in calmer moments they produce a 21st-century version of fire music.

Originally Published