CD The Distance [Chris Gestrin] (CD 1007868),
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The Distance [Chris Gestrin]

  • 1. Ferns
    2. Treacle
    3. #47
    4. Dark Engine
    5. Treant
    6. View from the Road
    7. Extrinsic
    8. Distance, The
    9. Voice in the Night
    10. Second Approximation
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1557

  • Credits
    ProducerTony Reif; Tony Reif
    EngineerGraeme Brown

    Personnel: Chris Gestrin (piano, prepared piano, bells); Chris Gestrin; Ben Monder (electric guitar); Dylan van der Schyff (drums, percussion).
    Audio Mixer: Graeme Brown.
    Recording information: Western Front, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (06/29/2004).
    Photographer: Tony Reif.
    Free jazz tends to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinds of things, but when three musicians of this caliber get together to improvise, the results can sometimes be enough to convert even the most resistant straight-ahead jazz lover. This album, a mostly improvised trio performance by guitarist Ben Monder, pianist Chris Gestrin, and percussionist Dylan van der Schyff, offers some such moments, though there are also points at which you wish they'd quit yammering and get to the point. Two of the album's strongest tracks come near the beginning, with the ironically titled "Treacle" (which sounds sharp and bitter, and almost dodecaphonic) and the fascinating "#47" (which sounds like a Czerny etude as rewritten by Anton Webern). "Dark Engine" starts off with technically impressive harmonics before dissolving into a very dark (but not terribly interesting) sort of chaos, but things start to get interesting again with the prepared piano on "Treant" and, especially, "View from the Road." "Exrinsic" is a quiet but extremely busy piece and another album highlight, while the album's title track is contemplative and very lovely. Overall, this is an album well worth hearing and one that might be used selectively to show your more skeptical friends that free jazz isn't all a bunch of hideous noise and aimless noodling. ~ Rick Anderson

  • Critic Reviews
    Down Beat (p.71) - "[The album] explores a wide span of material and methods. They flow effortlessly from smartly etched fastidiously egalitarian improvisations..."
    JazzTimes (p.92) - "Van der Schyff exhibits a keen perception of tonal color, rhythmic and textural variety and improvised form."
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