aec.leor399.2 10/19/04 New

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    Confluxus Leo

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Review Text Is anyone else under the impression that Leo Feigin replaced Ivo Perelman with Wally Shoup in his roster? Both saxophonists display the same kind of vital energy verging on the unbearably direct, and both have lined up album after album for Leo Records -- Perelman in the '90s, Shoup well on his way to do the same in the 2000s. Confluxus is significantly different than the two Wally Shoup Trio recordings between which it is sandwiched. The music is less ecstatic, more nuanced, with moments of near-silent tension and a slightly more romantic form of lyricism than what Shoup has gotten us used to. Drummer Toshi Makihara was part of the album Hurricane Floyd (with Thurston Moore), and cellist Brent Arnold is a regular member of the saxophonist's main outfit Project W. So, going into this live radio session (for Jack Straw's Sonarchy Radio show in Seattle), all three of them were very much acquainted. The session takes the shape of a near-continuous 45-minute performance. It starts in the kind of high-energy free improv style you'd expect from Shoup, driven by walloping drumming and flurries of tongue-stabbed notes. The presence of the cello, instead of a bass, immediately opens up a dialogue between strings and brass, as illustrated by "Joyride." But after 20 minutes of soul-piercing playing, the trio settles down: Makihara's playing becomes fragmented, then breaks into bits and pieces, while Shoup and Arnold space out their interventions. "Secret Tear," "Luminage" and "Double Pump" get increasingly textural and sparse, without loosing a certain jazziness or becoming downright abstract. "Conversance" marks a return to high energy, only to see the group conclude with a tone poem, "Fault Line," as Shoup delivers haunting sax sobs over a cello drone. ~ François Couture

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Two Breaths Away - 5:40
  2. 2. Joyride - 5:05
  3. 3. Inside Straight - 6:18
  4. 4. Convergence for Three - 5:56
  5. 5. Secret Tear - 5:04
  6. 6. Luminage - 5:20
  7. 7. Con Fluxus - 5:46
  8. 8. Double Pump - 4:19
  9. 9. Conversance - 4:56
  10. 10. Fault Line - 5:04

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