Joe Morris

Joe Morris

Many Rings

Knitting Factory

On “Many Rings,” we find guitarist Joe Morris meshing wonderfully with Karen Borca (bassoon), Rob Brown (alto saxophone, flute), and my personal favorite, Andrea Parkins (accordian, sampler). Opening gambit “Drawn to the Magnet” has that gleefully anarchic “all-together-now!” feel with all four artists just blasting out their parts with punk-like abandon. “Many Rings” is dominated by the wind instruments, and has a much smoother and more deliberate feel, while still being mazelike in its twists and turns. “First Appearance” to my ears, is all Andrea Parkins, with her accordian lurking and skipping throughout the track melding with Morris’ guitar scatterings and the delicate interweaving layers of Borca and Brown. Parkins begins “Chapel Level” with some sub-Numanoid metal noise before the other players join in almost one by one. “Chapel Level” is thick with layers of pure sound, becoming steadily one block of continuous music, the whole rather than the sum of the parts, and next thing you know the song trying to wriggle its way out of your mind. Great use of stop-go dynamics as well. Morris is many times content to relegate himself to the background, or rather the backbone of a piece, sacrificing solos to anchor the project. “Situation To Be In,” the best way I can describe it is free jazz in zero gravity, a wonderful floating feeling. “Small Cycle” takes shape as an 11-minute cycle of total chaos and randomness, where its hard to not only distinguish who is playing what, but how many people are participating. Skittish and schizoid. Great record, I’m just glad that Andrea Parkins is a participant.

Knitting Factory Works, 74 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013; http://www.knittingfactory.com/

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