Jim Black is a great rock drummer.October 10, 2007
After I wrote this link to a post about rock-influenced jazz, I went to Amoeba to see if I could buy any of the cd’s discussed. They weren’t there so I picked up Jim Black‘s Splay. Them I got Meg Nem Sa from amazon’s new mp3 download service, and while I was there I also got the not-so-new-except-to-me Human Feel (Wikipedia, MySpace) output Speak to It. Long story short after the jump.
I can’t decide what I think of Splay- it sounds like a jazzbo’s take on jangly guitar alternative rock, but in a good way like Nels Cline or something. I get stuck on the melodies, which are simple and lyrical and generally doubled on clarinet and keyboard. I just don’t feel like they’re believably executed somehow, they sound kinda phoned in. Or maybe like they’re supposed to be sung. The drumming is friggin fantastic.
I like Meg Nem Sa alot. Makes me want to get out those old Minature cd’s with Tim Berne and Joey Baron. Could be triangulated by Miniature, the Ruins, Meshuggah (lower impact, but the specific influence is occasionally very apparent). The drumming (again Jim Black) is fantastic, for completely different reasons than it is on Splay. See also Hilmar Jensson’s website.
I like Speak to This, but not nearly as much as I remember liking Welcome to Malpesta, which may well be a confabulation, it’s not on my iPod for some reason so it’ll take me a while to check. Of course the drumming is fantastic (Jim Black yet again), but he’s back to his familiar avant-jazz improv habitat.