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Jeff Kaiser and Brad Dutz: The Order of Her Bones (PFMCD008)

$10.00


Jeff Kaiser: trumpet, flugelhorn, and voices.
Brad Dutz: marimba, glass marimba, vibes, xylophone, bass slit drum, gongs, nipple gongs, wind gong, bell plate, heavy bell, Indian bells, bell chimes, sea urchin chimes, obsidian chimes, cup chime, crotales, rotosound, bird whistles, Brazilian birdcalls, clay jay call, Rawcliffe clay bowls and tuba flute, rainstick, hadjira, concertina, ratchet, shakers, caxixi, bones, pods, balloon whistle, pandiero, riq, bougarabou, spinner, finger cymbals, cymbals, bongos, cajon, string cajon, frame drum, snare drum, bass drum, and voices.

1. The White Haired Gentleman Approaches 6:41

2. Magnification Embrace 5:50

3. The Scrupulous Hand of Childhood 6:18

4. Wounds and Contusions 3:18

5. The Vigilant Conspiracy 5:28

6. The Order of Her Bones 1:48

7. Stories, RumorsÉ 6:58

8. Finches and Wrens 5:42

9. It Becomes Translucent 5:32

10. Bring Me Some Eggs 3:16

11. No Coffee? Nothing? 4:56

12. Faintly Appearing 5:02

Total Playing Time: 60:50

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 by Jeff Kaiser and Brad Dutz
© 2002 Jeff Kaiser Music, ASCAP and Leaky Spleen Music, BMI 4, 8, 12 by Brad Dutz
© 2002 Leaky Spleen Music, BMI Recorded by Brad Dutz at Apperson Street Studios in Tujunga, CA on 3.19.01, 6.4.01, and 9.15.01 Mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Design and layout by Jeff Kaiser
Brad Dutz endorses Paiste, VIC FIRTH, REMO, Yamaha, and Mountain Rythym

pfMENTUM CD008

PFMCD008

Reviews

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    “Avant-garde trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and percussionist Brad Dutz investigate various tonalities, abstractions, and rhythms during this often-captivating program. Dutz utilizes a sometimes-unimaginable arsenal of percussion instruments. On this release, the duo conjures up a multitude of mini-motifs and cleverly enacted improvisations. There’s a distinct sense of purpose here, as the duo interrogate various angles and contrasts. Overall, the twosome’s heady approach reaps substantial bonuses.”

    Glenn Astarita, 12.02, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/modern/arti1202.htm

    A survey at the instrumentation on [“The order of her bones”] reveals a significant discrepancy between the two participants-a startling ratio of 2 44 when it comes to instruments. To put it another way, if Dutz and Kaiser and their respective equipment were deposited on opposite ends of a hypothetical scale, the weight displacement would likely launch Kaiser into the stratosphere. Speculative hyperbole aside, it is a telling difference in arsenals that fortunately makes for mostly absorbing music. Also intriguing is that despite his colossal inventory of percussion, Dutz largely eschews the sounds of a standard kit, save a stray cymbal or snare component orient Kaiser’s brass is a comparative constant throughout trading in clipped melodic phrases and textured throaty smears. Over the course of a dozen tracks, each of which seems to blend together into a larger programmatic scheme, the pair interlocks in a sustained level of active communication. Uncertainty and freshness sustain through a constant shifting of sound producing sources. On the first track alone a small army of hand drums vies with the spinning clatter of a bicycle crank as Kaiser’s voice-like horn chugs forward alongside. “Magnificent Embrace” opens the palette wider with resonating bells and muted trumpet. “Wounds and Contusions” weds the same to a counterpoint of luminous marimba.
    Meditative overtones on many of the pieces foster the desire to simply sit back and allow the journey to transpire without trying to determine what instrument is producing what sound and when. Certain sections hold together better than others, but the comparatively static and familiar tonalities of Kaiser’s brass provide a solid reference point, even during the segments that seem to fray and wander. Instead of adopting the impatience of a child in a candy store, an understandable reaction given the wealth of percussion at his disposal, Dutz marshals his vast resources wisely. Moving from one device to the next he creates a rich and layered topography for Kaiser’s horn to amble across. Kaiser in turn uses his brass routinely as a colorist’s tool, painting oblique tonal streaks around his partner’s fragmentary rhythms. In tandem the two players achieve a remarkable compatibility of thought and execution. As such, while the program stumbles in spots, these interludes of distraction are remarkably few. An added bonus is the impromptu reference guide offered up by Dutz’s catalog of drumming devices. I found myself looking more than a few of the items up and have had my internal instrument database significantly expanded as a result.

    Derek Taylor, Cadence, August 2003, 122-123

    The duo of brass virtuoso Jeff Kaiser and percussion master Brad Dutz is a pair that seems unlikely on paper given the investigative nature of the music found on The Order of Her Bones. But it is an illusion presented by how tightly wound in the improvisational world these musicians are. Over the course of 12 compositions, Dutz and Kaiser attempt to give sonic expression to themes from T.S. Eliot’s landmark poetic work, Four Quartets. Small, streamlined phrases are articulated through the force of a line in the poems, and then moved into the center of the exploration to be considered by trumpet, flugelhorn, and any five or ten of literally 100 percussion instruments. And, unlike a free-rambling meditation on emotional transference or imagery, this pair concentrates on the “song” element in these poems, the music in their chosen section or phrase. Each improvisational element, each exchange, each flurry of notes and beats dovetails from the last into the next. These sections move toward one another even as one musician brings both challenger and consolation to the other. The individual sections mean nothing without the whole and that’s how this work was conceived, and as such, it is full of shadow, balance, nuance, and tonally brilliant communication and articulation. This is a gem; seek it out from http://wwwpfmentum.com.

    — Thom Jurek, allmusic.com, 2.03

    The Order of Her Bones is a freewheeling series of duets by everything-but-the-kitchen-sink percussionist Brad Dutz & Jeff Kaiser on trumpet, flugelhorn and voice. By virtue of his massive percussion setup, which includes everything from shakers and concertina to bones and birdcalls in addition to the more usual drums, marimbas, and cymbals, Dutz gives the session an innate variety from track to track. At the core of the pieces are the focused interactions of the players. Clearly they’ve collaborated before; at times their unhurried but nonetheless urgent interplay is reminiscent of the 1969 series of duets by Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, Mu Parts One & Two. Kaiser sometimes sounds strained: he seems to be having a lot of trouble towards the end of “Wounds And Contusions” and elsewhere when he can be hesitant or tenuous. That seems to be just his style, though, since the sustained lines of “Stories, Rumors … …” ” prove that he can play with sinewy strength. In the end, the experimental nature of their sound and the anything-goes esthetic yields myriad surprises in this generally low-key but captivating display of improvisation from Southern California.

    -Stuart Kremsky, International Association of Jazz Record Collectors Journal. Winter 2002/03. page 64.

    In the same type of packaging (folding cardboard with a rope holding it together) and the same free and improvisational spirit that characterizes Jeff Kaiser’s other release “17 Themes for Ockodektet” (cmp review elsewhere on these pages), comes this “The Order of Her Bones” in tandem with Mr. Brad Dutz. 60 minutes and 12 songs and an incredibly impressive array of utilized instruments (Kaiser is content to play trumpet and flugelhorn but Dutz sports a humongous list of instruments in the range of 40-50 something, going from traditional acoustic ones to unpronounceable and exotic ones) make up for a record that knows no horizon in time and space, covering moods and grooves that if pinned on a map would extend from north to south and from east to west, eventually covering all the bases from traditional folk or tribal music all the way to what could be a mellow version of a Zornian trumpet concert or an experimental extravaganza of some minor collage noise artist… Most of all I keep thinking of some of Gregorio Bardini’s records, or more like what a Bardini record would sound like if he was a percussion player… This record has all the answers it is set out to ask. Abstract and exotic, local and global, percussive and trumpetering, pioneering and heritage-conscious, rooted and way out there! Find it all out yourself and especially don’t even try to miss out on this one if you are into weird percussion or anarchic brass instruments.

    Marc “the MEMORY Man” Urselli-Schärer, 4.22.03, http://www.chaindlk.org/

    The unbelievable amount of performance experience and technical skill that musicians Dutz and Kaiser bring to this collaborative effort ensures that The Order of Her Bones finds success with its flavored blend of improvised jazz and experimentalism. The result of that fusion is an album that facilitates a genuinely enjoyable listening experience as opposed to the sort of fey intellectual practice many of these releases produce.

    These are very much organic performances insofar as they grow outward from a predefined point of origin, only to expand and branch off in a manner that precludes any strict sense of structure or traditional composition. Generally characterized by stable rhythms laid down by Dutz’s enormous collection of diverse percussion instruments (i.e. bongos, cymbals, marimba, shakers and chimes), these pieces consistently unleash flourishes of syncopation and improvisation. Layers upon layers of these various percussion instruments — each offering their own unique tones and intensities that create depth within an otherwise sparse stereo field — ensure that the tracks do not sound flat or unengaging. Kaiser’s trumpet and fluegelhorn, the ying to Dutz’s percussive yang, complete the ensemble. While it is certainly not easy listening, the sounds found on The Order of Her Bones are far more accessible then your typical improvised, pseudo-academic fair.

    — Mike Baker, splendidezine.com, 11.21.02

    “This is an art project in the truest sense. Though you may not know their names, Brad Dutz and Jeff Kaiser have been involved with a mind-boggling array of artists and/or projects over the course of their careers (far too numerous to mention here). Suffice to say, these men have their roots firmly entrenched. There are few things on earth that please as much as artists who create purely out of a love for creation. Dutz and Kaiser most certainly fit within this description. The Order of Her Bones is an obtuse, eccentric, peculiar, and almost completely non-commercial collection of compositions that virtually defy description. Kaiser plays trumpet, flugelhorn, and provides voices. Dutz plays marimba, vibes, xylophone, bass, gongs, Indian bells, shakers, bones, pandiero, and…and…well, you’d have to read the list of things he plays on this album to believe it. You won’t be hearing these twelve tracks on any normal radio station anytime soon. These two gentlemen provide wildly experimental stuff that is only meant for those who like being challenged. The disc is packaged nicely, complimented by a piece of hand-tied string which holds the package together. Very nice stuff, we would recommend checking out the label’s web site (see link above)… (Rating: 5)”

    –LMNOP Reviews, November 2002, http://www.babysue.com/

    “BONES This isn’t quite as thematic (or as willfully crazed) as Kaiser’s 17 THEMES…, and it’s nowhere near as obscure or free-form rhythmically, but it’s no less avant for it. Here we find Kaiser on trumpet, flugelhorn, and vox dueting with percussionist Brad Dutz, who employs a truly amazing number of percussion devices, far too many to list here (but including “Rawcliffe clay bowls” and “string cajon,” whatever these fine, obscure things might be). The two work their mojo — an often hypnotic, tribal mojo, sounding like ritual shaman music at times — over twelve songs of what might loosely be described as tribal free jazz. Kaiser’s trumpet serves as the melodic device and counterpoint to rhythmic structures of unusually wide tonality, the result of such a large array of percussion tools. There are moments when Dutz creeps up into the territory of getting carried away with the constant clattering, but for the most part his rhythm stick is focused more on hypnotic repetition rather than density of sound. One of the album’s recommendations is its large panorama of rhythmic sounds, a practice that largely died out in the seventies in the wake of the ridiculous excesses of prog rock and the increasing homogenization of all sounds intended to be “radio-friendly.” Kaiser’s distinctly melodic trumpet wailing is a nice plus, but i suspect this would have stood up on its own just stripped down to the percussion alone. It comes in similar packaging as Kaiser’s aforementioned release, and makes a nice companion piece.”

    –Dead Angel, Issue 54, 11/02, http://www.monotremata.com/dead/issues/da54.html

    “The Order Of Her Bones is a duo project of Kaiser on trumpet, flugelhorn and voices, and Brad Dutz on marimba, xylophone, drums, and more bells, percussion and assorted toys than I could begin to list. (or even identify… do you know what a bougarabou or a tuba flute is?) Anyway, Kaiser and Dutz manage to keep things remarkably busy for only two musicians. Even the most subtle moments spoke to me in a loud voice. The horn is garrulous and the percussion melodic. Jazz dominates throughout but there are ambient/atmospheric moments and the whole thing comes off like a story is being told. Kaiser is a proficient but communicative horn player. He can tear up his instrument but at all times I feel like he’s speaking to me and not just showing his chops. Dutz’s performance is responsible for much of the atmosphere and theme, smoothly moving between his arsenal of percussive tools. But the real strength of the album is that it sounds like an animated conversation between the two artists. Quite different from the Ockodektet but equally expressive.”

    –Jerry Kranitz , Aural Innovations, 10.2002, http://www.aural-innovations.com/

    “This project delivers an hour of experimental sounds and music, all
    presented as a story or even an epic. From the music to the titles this is
    clearly eclectic, different, and creative. An example is the opening cut,
    “The White Haired Gentleman Approaches.” The idea is presented creatively
    with trumpet/f-horn and other instruments. Their interpretation works and is
    funny if you allow your mind to imagine.

    “Magnification Embrace” (5:50) opens as a mystic New Age-like tune but
    melds with avant garde jazz notes. The bells or chimes create an interesting
    effect with clay bowls and other jars (?) augmenting the performance. The
    ‘horn’ work is quite good with tones like that of a tuba.

    Other cuts include “The Scrupulous Hand of Childhood” which does sound like
    some kinds of experimental jazz in places. Some solid blowing is apparent on
    the cut. The piece runs for over six minutes. “Wounds and Contusions” [cut
    #4] is a short number. It melds easily into “The Vigilant Conspiracy.” Here
    the mumblings and whisperings add mystery to the song. Truly a strange tune
    with the background sounds of an imagined UFO.

    The title track is a nuanced effort with horn and nice tones in the
    background. “Stories, Rumors…” (6:58) is the longest cut on the project.
    It has an exotic Eastern feel to it. Cymbals, chimes, gongs, flutes, bells,
    strings, and horns all add to the rich sounds. Most clever may be “Finches
    and Wrens” (5:42) a quirky selection that distantly mimicks the chat and
    gossip of birds…or is it a bird fight?! Anyway the track must be heard to
    be appreciated. I might call this ‘Creative Instrumentation.’ What also
    caught my ear is the transparent production and mixing. The many instruments
    are layered and flow well. Try doing this with a variety of instruments in
    real life–this is not synthesizer created music–it is the real thing.
    Kaiser and Dutz use dozens of instruments to create sounds, effects,
    tricks, and music, all interspersed. Songs vary from light to mystic to
    experiental. “Bring Me Some Eggs” starts off with hot horn work, it could be
    a jazz number but then it flows into a lush slow nuanced effort only to have
    music imitate action in the kitchen. And we stay in this room with “No
    Coffee? Nothing?” is a rich track that brews right before your ears. Strange
    indeed. Pour me a cup.

    This opus closes with “Faintly Appearing” a melancholy number. I must
    approve of this creative album. It’s certainly not for everybody and you
    have to slow down to listen carefully but it is worth it. It is not so ‘out
    there’ that it means nothing. This music is able to make order of
    disfragmented sounds [bones] and make some pretty creative music and sounds.
    Fans of natural effects, sounds, experimental music and the such will like
    it. Interesting listening that puts flesh on bones.

    –A. Canales, November 2002, The CRITICAL REVIEW, 2523 Montana, El Paso, TX 79903

    “Trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and percussionist Brad Dutz engage in 12 intimate conversations that flow in and out of different moods and emotions, facilitated by making use of 46 sound-making devices. As each sound takes its place in the vast sonic void, each sound subtly and gently fills the space before fading into another sound. Although these players are certainly not afraid of the unknown, they are also not afraid of melody…the co-existence of these contrasting ideas is represented by the T.S. Eliot quote that is the only hint of intention on the packaging.”

    –Amanda MacBlane, Issue 43 – Vol.4, No.7 November 2002 , SoundTracks, http://www.newmusicbox.org/

    Percussionist Brad Dutz and trumpet player Jeff Kaiser are long established jazz musicians in the purely abstract circles. Both academics have lengthy resumes, collaborated with many like minded free musical thinkers, and have also written books and articles on music. Here on this collaboration the two come together to blend and mold their creative talents to produce a lengthy work of experimentalism.

    While Kaiser blows the trumpet and flughorn, Dutz utilizes a wealth of various world percussion instruments: chimes, bells, whistles, gongs, rainsticks, shakers, drums, etc. Kaiser’s horn may hold the composition together loosely, but the wide array of different and exotic world percussion sounds and effects gives the record a rich flavor. Hardly melodic or concrete, sounds stretch, form, and manipulate into acoustic excursions of undefined and indefinate expansion.

    Vastly open-minded listeners who gravitate toward more unorthodox avant-garde jazz artists and labels such as Pax Recordings, Sachimay, or Tzadik should find this open-ended composition simultaneously different, challenging, and rewarding.

    –Jeramy Ponder. Jackal Blaster, 12.02, http://www.angelfire.com/zine/jackalblaster/Title_Page.html

    “Kaiser is impressive as usual on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Dutz plays just about every percussion instrument available on the continent. The songs fall on the coherent side of the block, so don’t afraid. Kaiser has a way of making the avant garde accessible. Dutz shares this ability, and the result is at once adventurous and comfy.”

    –Jon Worley, http://www.cent.com/abetting/

    “The origins of creative music must go back a lot farther than early European string quartets and small chamber groups from other continents. The music contains such a primitive slant, that it must surely have begun as one of the very first forms of communication. Imagine early man talking to the spirits. Maybe he and his clan worked at it together. If so, then surely their improvised music must have brought pleasure to the artists as well as to the rest of the family. Such is the case with these explorations of trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and percussionist Brad Dutz. Both, experienced professionals from Southern California, are quite active in creative music circles. Their recital evokes impressions. The song titles offer some insight. One look at the personnel instrumentation listing tells you that this one offers variety. Kaiser and Dutz are pioneers. Their creations explore in many directions. “The Order of Her Bones” swings gently with open horn and marimba. “Wounds and Contusions” hints at Miles Davis, through the tightly muted trumpet and marimba. A deep respect for various timbres overshadows their session. Pedal tones, timpani, crying emotion and mallets take their turns communicating. On “Finches and Wrens” the artists call and respond with articulate impressionism. Another piece takes on the aura of a funeral dirge. All in all, The Order Of Her Bones offers a highly creative session that’s both accessible to a wide audience and deep in its search for meaning.”

    –Jim Santella, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/ , 10.2002

    “The Order of Her Bones di Brad Dutz e Jeff Kaiser (pfMENTUM) è un album di grande eleganza e intensità che mette a nudo il rapporto dialettico che si instaura tra la tromba e il flicorno di Jeff Kaiser e gli oltre quaranta strumenti percussivi suonati dal funamabolico Brad Dutz. Quest’ultimo è un percussionista molto attivo sulla scena californiana, con un range espressivo così ampio che gli ha permesso di spostarsi dal jazz-rock del gruppo del chitarrista Scott Henderson (con cui incise il primo album del gruppo Tribal Tech, nel lontano 1985, rimanendo in formazione anche per i tre successivi album) agli esperimenti di musicisti californiani come Jeff Kaiser, appunto, Alex Cline, Vinny Golia e altri, senza dimenticare la sua attività di session-man che lo ha portato a collaborare con musicisti diversi fra di loro come Frank Sinatra e Rickie Lee Jones, oppure Willie Nelson e Alanis Morissette. A parte la title track (che dura meno di due minuti) gli altri undici brani sono di media durata (fra i tre e i sette minuti) ed esplorano aree variegate e colorate, spesso caratterizzate da elementi compositivi appena abbozzati, scarnamente minimalisti, attorno ai quali il dialogo dei due artisti si arrampica e si avviluppa, partendo dagli stimoli poetici forniti dai Four Quartets di T.S. Eliot. Le registrazioni (a cura dello stesso Dutz) sono avvenute fra marzo e settembre del 2001 e presentano fedelmente, con qualche elaborazione elettronica live poco invasiva, le felici improvvisazioni di questi due straordinari strumentisti, che con questo album raggiungono sicuramente uno dei punti più alti della loro arte.”

    Maurizio Comandini , March 2003, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/italy/

    “Our friend Jeff (at pfMENTUM records) has been busy, recording up a storm. There are a couple other CD’s he is part of that will be reviewed in later issues. ‘Bones’ features his trumpet against percussion artistry by Brad Dutz. An even dozen tracks of highly creative & energetic improvisation that will make your ears stand at attention. I can tell you, you’ve never heard a marimba (with a trumpet) played like Brad plays it. The players are totally conscious of each other, using the open spaces freely in a conversational mode that is ‘listener-friendly.’ Almost like you’re eavesdropping on their private thoughts (and, in a way, I suppose you are). Jeff’s playing is ‘seamless,’ totally flowing & full of freedom. I enjoyed each of the cuts 2 or 3 times, catching the playful spirit expressed right away…you will, too! This CD gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for listeners enchanted with new sonic experience; if your ears curdle when listening to music that MOVES…you probably aren’t reading this ‘zine anyway, so it doesn’t matter. VERY interesting music.”

    -Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation #58

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