This Moment

Beautiful Line

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This Moment went through a few lineups in the course of its lifetime; likewise, its music shows an entertaining instability. This album was recorded in December 1999 with drummer Nick Fraser, bassist Rob Clutton, and clarinetist Ronda Rindone. It is a short album, three-quarters of an hour, that feels like a collection of mismatched pieces. Proceedings begin with "Exercise No. 1," a funny piece written by the drummer. The clarinet melody sounds like a first-year student exam piece, but the real "exercise" goes on in the back, Fraser underpinning a virtuosic part. The next three pieces, all between two and three minutes, are half-written scenes, unassuming and unremarkable. In "Bp" the musicians leave their instruments untouched; instead, they vocalize strings of phonemes. "An Invitation to Italian" pairs an avant rock vamp with Rindone's strange English-Italian recitation, reminiscent of Christoph Anders with the 1980s group Cassiber. The title track, the longest at ten minutes, comes back to recitation, but this time Rindone speaks softly instead of shouting and her voice is overdubbed. Drums, bass, and clarinet perform a series of short themes and incidental sections while the voice philosophizes about the meaning of life, low in the mix. Between avant-garde jazz and beat poetry, this album shapeshifts without making a convincing statement about the necessity to be that unpredictable. A mixed bag.

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