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Album Review

Quite different from the highly abstract free improvisation he is best known for and the punkish energy of his group Lozenge, Wrack introduces a new side of Kyle Bruckmann: the jazz composer. First and foremost, this album is about writing tunes. Of course, they leave room to a lot of spontaneous developments and free improv, but they remain largely scored pieces of music. And they are of jazz allegiance, despite the fact that they stretch far out of the genre's mainstream definition. A cover of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" at the very end of the album plays the role of a signpost, but it indicates only one of several directions. Bruckmann's background in classical music is also a very important landmark to notice. A piece like "Mitigating Factors" draws from the heritage of Giancinto Scelsi and Morton Feldman and pairs what it borrows with Coleman's harmolodics. Add Tim Daisy's soft-touch rolls on the toms and you get a very strange piece, seductive despite its asceticism. Some other tracks are significantly more bombastic, with traces of rock seeping through the cracks. Listening to "Extenuating Circumstances," one immediately thinks of Satoko Fujii's ensemble music (especially with her quartet and orchestras). The difference here lies in the instrumentation. Bruckmann's quintet consists of trombone (Jeb Bishop), viola (Jen Clare Paulson), double bass (Kurt Johnson), and drums (Tim Daisy), with Bruckmann's oboe and English horn taking the lead — not your usual jazz quintet, not your run-of-the-mill chamber music ensemble either. Bruckmann grabs on to any material he finds, from fusion licks to Stravinsky and extended techniques — the creaking/squeaking first half of "Gearshifts & Parentheticals" is worlds away from "Extenuating Circumstances." And yet the superior performance of the musicians (Paulson's languid soloing, Bruckmann's ever-graceful, angelic oboe providing the most unlikely counterpart to Bishop's trombone) make it all stick together. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Chicago English horn player Kyle Bruckmann specializes in a style of music that somehow manages to combine classical with elements of punk and Dada, drawing inspiration from such acclaimed artists as George Crumb, Guillermo Gregorio, and John Cage. Bruckmann has performed alongside a host of others (including Michael Zerang, Jim Baker, and Jeb Bishop), even appearing on the...
Full Bio
Wrack, Kyle Bruckmann
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 23, 2003

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