Spring Heel Jack
Masses: The Blue Series Continuum
As if Sonic Youth was on sound check next door, the noir piano of “Chorale” begins the dense dichotomy of sound that is Spring Heel Jack’s latest. A duo once known for atmospheric drum n’ bass, John Coxon and Ashley Wales have undone their two-step ideologies to venture into avant garde jazz and buoyant dub. Combining their studio wizardry with more live musicians than a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame jam, the lads have revitalized the beauty of freeform audio.
The two interludes only add to the dramatic journey through the smoky underground jazz scene. A mix of classical string cadences and static clinging piano, with sputtering woodwinds and brass, Masses is a relevant stab at dissolving the conventions of modern music. A bit more structured, but no less adventurous than John Zorn’s output, Spring Heel has fallen off the radar they once occupied into a more abstract dimension. Let’s just hope they stay there for a while.
Thirsty Ear Recordings, 274 Madison Ave., Suite 804, New York, NY 10016; http://www.thirstyear.com