Mike Klobas

In the Room

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Located in Corvallis, OR, the Louie label continues to push the envelope and the ears of its customers by becoming a leader in modern creative music that's spontaneously composed. That is, the performers come into the studio with no preconceived notion of what they will play and obviously no charts. There are 13 tunes, each with a title, but given that this music is made on the spot, their purpose is track identification. For their latest excursion through uncharted waters, the label has put two drummers, each with complete drum sets, one belonging to Mike Klobas and the other to Dave Storrs, together with bass player Page Hundemer. Like other modern drummers of like minds (e.g., Gerry Hemingway, Andrew Cyrille, and Han Bennink), the two percussionists have fully embraced free-form jazz, making use of the entire drum set and employing numerous and complex figures coming from a variety of rhythmic ideas. The main source of the latter, obviously, comes from bass player Hundemer. This close relationship and dependence are apparent on "They Returned Home Safely." Given that the compositions are prepared on the spot, the playing becomes quite intense and, in some cases, has some structure that the listener can latch onto, such as a wildly performed "The Whip." It sounds as if Hundemer has expanded on the Slam Stewart technique of bass bowing while humming into the instrument an octave or so apart. "Who's Doing What to Whom" comes over like a session of talking in tongues. To say this album will be an acquired taste is an understatement. It may require several hearings before it's completely appreciated...and that may take a while. But for those attracted to this jazz niche, it is well worth the effort.

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