Gowanus Sessions II
January 31, 2020 release Gowanus Session II was seven years in the planning. Thollem, Nels Cline, and William Parker convened at Peter Karl Studios in Brooklyn on January 3rd, 2012 and recorded two complete albums. The first was Gowanus Session I, released by Porter Records in April of that year. GS II was put aside to eventually complete the five-album palindromic cycle of trio albums Nels and Thollem ambitiously set out to realize. The albums in between include Radical Empathy with Michael Wimberly (Relative Pitch), Molecular Affinity with Pauline Oliveros (Roaratorio), and Reality and Other Imaginary Places, with Michael Wimberly (ESP-Disk').
William Parker debuted on ESP-Disk' in the mid-'70s on Frank Lowe's classic album Black Beings (ESP3013), with additional material from that session released as The Loweski (ESP4066). He returned to the label this century with Mat Walerian's group Toxic (ESP5011) and in a quartet with Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, and Bobby Kapp (ESP5036), while being highly prolific as a leader, notably with a series of brilliant albums on AUM Fidelity. Nels Cline has spent decades changing people's ideas about the role of the electric guitar in multiple contexts, ranging from Wilco to Anthony Braxton (think about that!) as well as many projects as a leader, earning a spot on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists list. Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent most of his adult life living on the road throughout North America and Europe. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem is known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti (ESP4057), and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects.
Track 1/Side A: Life in the World 18:42
Track 2/Side B: World in a Life 18:49
William Parker, bass
Nels Cline, electric guitar/effects
Thollem McDonas, piano
All compositions by Thollem McDonas, William Parker, Nels Cline
Recorded January 3, 2012 at Peter Karl Studios, Gowanus Arts Building, Brooklyn, NY
Mastering by Scott Anthony at Storybook Sound
"Glaring expressionism coupled with rip-roaring layers of acoustic-electric sound-sculpting maneuvers yield the bountiful fruit on this manifold studio date. ... The artists align their wares via a feeling out process, energized by Cline's note-bending exercises and strings scraping techniques, leading to a spiraling improvisational fest, designed with overlapping statements and intense three-way conversations. Lucid imagery remains a continuum as the trio's linear onslaughts intimate harrowing backdrops, abetted by Parker's creaky and ominously designed phrasings." - Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
"Thollem's playing reminds me of early Cecil Taylor a la "Looking Ahead". Although it's less dissonant overall, he certainly displays a similar physical approach. Parker is both the glue holding the music together and the wedge pushing it apart while Nels Cline seems to choose his battles, alternating between pervasive texture and carefully spaced punctuations." - Matt Schulz, The Squid's Ear
|Digital download||Choice of WAVs or MP3s|
|Long Playing||180-gram black vinyl Matte jacket with paper sleeve|