Michael Foster / Steve Swell / Brandon Lopez / Weasel Walter – “Throes are the Only Trouble” (SR, 2017)

“Throes are the Only Trouble” was released only three days ago – on November 27. Four experienced and interesting avant-garde jazz masters had recorded this album – it’s Michael Foster (tenor & soprano saxophones), Steve Swell (trombone), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums). The collective improvisations of these four musicians always have interesting and evocative sound. Interesting, constantly changing and dynamic musical language, special sound effects, unusual timbres and sounds, active and rapide n=bursts of energy and many other spontaneusly created elements form the main basic of the quartet compositions. Each of these four musicians has original and interesting playing style, unique playing manner, unusual and modern sound. Musicians are using shocking and stunning sound experiments, inventive and provocative musical decisions, furious and wild improvisations and special sound effects. This album is another one opportunity to hear four interesting, experienced and outstanding avant-garde jazz musicians playing together.

Album compositions are based on free improvisations. Wild fast saxophones melodies, solid and subtle trombone and bass solos, dynamic and active drums – improvisation by each musician is based on different music elements and styles. This album compositions are based on free form and structure, sharp and aggressive harmony, provocative, weird and shocking musical decisions and expressive melodies. Michael Foster playing is oustanding and based on sound experiments and spontaneous musical decisions. He try out different playing techniques – traditional and innovative ways of playing are masterfully and effectively combined in one composition. His improvisations are full of vivacious, expressive, rapid and dynamic melodies, furious and wild fast solos, interesting and weird sounds and always have a bright and evocative sound. Emotional and eapecially expressive playing bring to the album more energy, live and form very dynamic and active sound. Steve Swell trombone improvisations are as interesting as vivacious and unpredictable saxophone melodies. He also try many different ways of playing – most of them are unusual and extraordinary. Wide range of weird timbres, interesting sounds and sharp harmony chords are masterly combined in one composition. Steve Swell plays very contrasting and dynamically – the episodes which are an opposite to each other, are organically blended and connected together. Aggressive, dramatic and very sharp episodes are connected with more soft, slower and light sound improvisations. The saxophone and trombone duets are especially interesting and active – together these two musicians form a total bursts of energy which are full of unpredictable and sudden stylistic waves, sudden changes of styles and moods, wild fast solos and wide range of different playing techniques. Brandon Lopez bass improvisations differ from reeds solos because of its sound, playing manner and musical language. It’s also based on free and stunning musical experiments, special sound effects, creative experiments and inventive musical decisions, but it has more subtle and softer sound. Brandon Lopez improvisations have many wild fast solos, are based on spontaneous musical decisions and helps to form a strong and solid rhythmic basement. His improvisations are formed from short melodic elements which are not connected with each other and many different types rhythmic formulas. Brandon Lopez improvising is full of these elements, has bright, evocative and dynamic musical language and adventurous sound. Weasel Walter very energetic and expressive drums improvisations bring more aggressive, provocative and interesting sound to the album. The drummer try out many innovative ways of playing, shocking and stunning sound effects, various kinds and types of thythmic. He put all these elements together effectively and marvelously and form a solis rhythmic basement. Original, outstanding and interesting improvising create colorful, gorgeous and astonishing sound of this album.


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