The Recyclers

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This album was recorded in various locations during the Recyclers' tour in the summer of 1995. Most of the music was written by drummer Steve Argüelles, with the exception of Benoît Delbecq's "Slices," Don Cherry's "Mopti," and a handful of free improvisations. The latter features some guests: clarinetist François Houle, trombonist Wolter Wierbos, guitarist Billy Jenkins, and Kenneth Newby; each battle is a round with Argüelles, pianist Delbecq, and guitarist Noël Akchoté. The trio is already very tight and still full of ideas. The pianist's flexibility is what allowed him to become an important figure in avant-garde jazz. Here he often plays rhythmically to fit Argüelles' riff-based compositions (think of another drummer-led French trio, Guigou Chenevier's Volapük). The tunes are lively, spirited, and showcase Akchoté's stellar playing, often derivative of Fred Frith and René Lussier. The improvised numbers tend to be more exploratory and atmospheric, not always with convincing results ("Mirabel/CDG" is one example). Pieces are kept short to pack more punch. Highlights include the opener "Western Front" (the most intense 44 seconds on the album), "Tantarantana," "WW" (with Wierbos having a lot of fun), and the drums/guitar duet "Deux." Even though Visit feels a bit like a hodgepodge (what it actually is), it remains a very strong record of accessible avant music.

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