Mike Vlatkovich

Queen Dynamo

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A deeply interesting album of progressive jazz from the Portland trombonist Michael Vlatkovich. Abandoning his usual big band, Vlatkovich instead takes up a small trio (actually a "tritet" by his own account) of bass, drums, and himself on trombone. Joining Vlatkovich in the trio are Swiss classically-oriented bassist Jonas Tauber, and fellow Portland drummer Ken Ollis. The music is largely improvised, with some structure imparted by Vlatkovich, but the bulk being spontaneous between the artists. With only the three musicians performing, the sound is surprisingly thick and full, with layers of sound overlaying one another expertly. The sound textures can get a bit out of the usual range, รก la free jazz, but there's just enough structure present to keep it in the 'progressive' realm instead. The dividing line between free and progressive is, of course, up for debate, and this collection perhaps pushes the debate a bit, but regardless of its classification, the music itself stands up quite well. It's not music for a lazy Sunday afternoon, but it's really not trying to be that either.

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