Drummer Andrew Drury released his first solo CD in 1998 on the Montréal label Red Toucan. He is surrounded mainly by reedman Craig Flory, guitarist Timothy Young, and acoustic bassist Phil Sparks. Guests Eyvind Kang (violin), Brent Arnold (cello), and Steve Moore (trombone) appear on three tracks each. All Drury compositions, the ten pieces are mostly rhythm-based complex avant jazz tunes with elements of avant-prog creeping in. One thinks of Virgil Moorefield's Distractions on the Way to the King's Party and other groups related to the Cuneiform label (Boom, Forever Einstein), but also of Jean Derome's duet with Pierre Tanguay (for the playful character and twisted sax-and-drums melody in "Anniversary of a Non-Marriage"), and even the Frank Zappa of both Uncle Meat and The Grand Wazoo (is the bass clarinet intentionally hinting at the melody of "King Kong" in "Call the Brigade"?). Drury feels at home as much in a swing number like "Salt Water Kandinsky" as in mind-boggling avant rock tornados like the title track and "Football." By the way, don't get fooled by the swing number: it transforms into electric guitar mayhem backed by scorching saxophone à la John Zorn in Pain Killer. The album ends with the pseudo-surf "In the Aftermath (Of Sykes-Picot)," which features demented electric violin playing by Kang. For the first time, an album released in Red Toucan's Exuberance series deserves to be referred to as exuberant. Drury momentarily faded away after the release of Polish Theater Posters, but returned as a notable collaborator and creative jazz force in his own right during the 21st century.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture