Dan Meichel

David Lynch's Cow

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This CD features a bit more than half an hour of nicely recorded and played improvised music. The tracks originated as a live broadcast on the Calgary, Alberta, student radio station CJSW, and the pressing on Bookstore Projects is part of an ongoing series of documentation efforts presided over by bassist Oliver. The radio show might be entitled "Noise," but what we have here are clearly musical instruments, quite often playing recognizable pitches and reacting to each other in ways that would hardly cause a music theory textbook to ignite in flame. There are five pieces, each simply titled according to its duration. The track opens with the comfortable sound of acoustic bass and bass clarinet, a sound that to the free jazz enthusiast must be the equivalent of cookies and milk. Later, Dan Meichel whips out the tenor sax and goes for it, the recording needles dipping slightly into the red range for the kind of overblown sound that is often heard on such projects. If the performance has a problem, it is a sense of the tentative. Meichel seems to need some time to get going, trying out this and that phrase in a manner that suggests fingers randomly roaming over saxophone keys. The players can be praised for closely observing dynamics and other subtle factors of duet performance even when not much is going on, but Oliver is sometimes much too laid-back when his partner finally gets going. It would have been a groove, for example, to hear more bass involvement with the nice Sonny Rollins things that Meichel gets going. Oliver's sound with the bow could have used more presence in the mix, although the solution probably is for him to play louder. Meichel's vocal interpolations don't add much. Some of the music's best moments are when it is less-obviously horn-driven, such as an extended part combining long tones and mouthpiece sounds.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
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