July 17th, 2013
Cameron Sharif (keyboard), Ray Larsen (trumpet), Mark Hunter (bass), Evan Woodle (drums)
Following Syrinx Effect last Thursday evening was yet another band arising from Seattle’s embarrassment of avant-jazz riches, Chemical Clock, an aggressive and determined young band with a lot of good ideas and more than enough chops to pull them off. Led by keyboardist and composer Cameron Sharif, the quartet’s self-titled debut CD EP is a brief and refreshing blast of post-everything avant fusion. Keep in mind that the word “fusion” is a bit loaded. Fusion, to Sharif and his colleagues, means something very different than it did back in the 20th century. The combination of Ray Larsen’s electric trumpet and Shari’s electric keys might suggest a set inspired by Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969) – but while such influences are unavoidable, Chemical Clock is not about reinterpreting or regurgitating the past. Indeed, there is very little nostalgia going on here. The fusion here encompasses aspects of jazz, electronic dance music, prog-metal, contemporary classical music, and the indefinable electro-acoustic music currently being explored by edgy rock bands such as Lightning Bolt and Hella.
July 14th, 2013
Naomi Siegel (trombone, pedals, field recordings) & Kate Olson (saxophone, effects)
Syrinx Effect an experimental platform for trombonist Naomi Siegel and saxophonist Kate Olson, played contemporary, improvised music with electronics at the Chapel Performing Space in the opening performance of the Jazz The Second Century, the latest edition of Earshot’s juried series. It was a beautiful set of interesting music. Olson mixed jazz licks and space on soprano sax above a layer of laptop effects, Buddha Machine loops, and snaps, pops and analog electronic sounds from a Cracklebox. Siegel explored the range and booms of trombone and lays down a background of looped brass thwarted by guitar pedals, plus field recordings from her travels.
The duo’s recent release Gnarly & Sweet shows their approach to improvised sonic journeys, tending to cinematic soundscapes set on droning rhythmic motifs. The two trade responsibilities in driving the shape and form of the pieces, each, at times, soloing minimally and sweetly or bombastically.