From the Bottle is pretty much everything its predecessor wasn't: focused, exciting, and dangerous. Tigersmilk's second opus was recorded at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, roughly two years after the studio session that yielded the trio's self-titled debut. In the meantime, the unit formed by Rob Mazurek, Jason Roebke, and Dylan van der Schyff has grown -- well, "tighter" doesn't apply to a free improv context, so let's say "more involved." The debut CD lacked character, while this one is all about it, from Mazurek's post-cool trumpet lines and gurgling electronics to Roebke's droning arco bass playing and van der Schyff's endlessly resourceful drumming. The album contains six untitled tracks ranging from two to 19 minutes in duration. The group navigates waters somewhere between quiet free improvisation and avant-cool free jazz, which means that the music is mostly calm in terms of tempo and density, but doesn't exclude outbursts (usually from van der Schyff, downright unpredictable Han Bennink-style in the longest piece), virtuosity, and occasional fire. Those who prefer their free improv acoustic will be happy to learn that Mazurek rarely uses his electronics and generally only to provide textural looped backdrops -- with one exception in track three, where electronics relevantly steal the show. Tigersmilk's first CD was just another meeting; From the Bottle shows that this group might develop the synergy and excitement to become a long-lasting, endearing unit.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture