Recorded between the live and studio sessions that yielded Damon Smith and Peter Kowald's Mirrors -- Broken but No Dust, The Sale of Tickets for Money Was Abolished finds the Bay Area bassist sounding more assured, daring, and involved. Maybe it is because his playing is more complementary here. Pianist Scott R. Looney is a regular acolyte of his. A visit by British saxophonist Tony Bevan provided the impetus for this encounter. The session lasted a mere two hours, but it produced some very good free improv in a typical West Coast vein, not necessarily jazz-tinged but somewhat warmer than what can be heard in London. Bevan's bass saxophone is a prince of deception, mimicking the bass, grunting and howling like a wild animal. Looney makes a resourceful musician on prepared piano, creative in the sounds he gets out of it. His duet with Bevan, "To Accept Errors Is Not to Contradict Fate," allows him to display his Borah Bergman side and his explosive style in the opener, "Custody of an Enemy," immediately grabs attention. On the other hand, his contributions on live electronics don't rise over the laptop masses, and they don't bring the best out of the other two players. Given more time in the studio, maybe this trio could have recorded a bit more material and ruled out two or three weaker tracks but, as it stands, this CD still makes for an enjoyable and provoking listen.
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