Tautology is a Boston, Massachusetts-based label, specializing in that scene’s particular brand of improvised music. Boston’s musicians seem more concerned with interplay and sonic exploration than anything resembling conventional melody and harmony.
Fetish consists of David Gross on reeds, Mike Bullock on bass, and Tatsuya Nakatani on percussion. Gross has a ferocious shriek that he utilizes to ear-shattering effect on the first 37+ minute piece of the CD. His microtonally buzzing alto takes a while to settle in, but once it does, it’s easy to appreciate the resonance he gets out of his horn. Bullock burrows in and around the skronk, alternating between vigorous bowing and a sonorous plucking. Nakatani drops percussive bombs into the mix, going for protracted periods without playing a note and suddenly breaking into a flurry of notes. The intimidating part of this piece is its velocity. The trio hurls ideas back and forth, covering a large amount of terrain in an even longer time frame. The second 28-minute track is far more introspective, but equally interesting. The three seem as comfortable with spaciousness as they are with gut-busting density.
David Gross is the link between Fetish and EED. While Fetish takes a fierce, uncompromising stance, EED opts for a more restrained approach. Gross is accompanied here by Erik Carlson on tuba and Eric Rosenthal on percussion. On Morphic Resonance, there isn’t much here in the way of forward momentum; the trio seem more focused on listening and reacting. Tracks like “If They Weren’t Stored in the Brain” feature dramatic shifts in volume, with Carlson sounding vaguely elephantine. Morphic Resonance is something of a difficult listen, mostly because the trio is comfortable stalking each other’s tails. It listens like a conversation between three people speaking with heavy accents on a subject you are familiar with. You know what they’re talking about, but their idiosyncratic style makes it twice the fun.
Tautology, 62 Boston Ave, Bedford, MA 02155; http://members.aol.com/tautology3