Trouble In Tiretown

David Slusser

film noir meets folk music and free jazz

David Slusser wrote all ten selections for this CD, utilizing an instrumentation that hints at the Ornette Coleman Quartet (substituting a second reed for Don Cherry's cornet) while adding a healthy dose of his wit and hints at earlier styles of jazz. "Jazzdeath," which is full of obvious song quotes and clichés, sounds as if the musicians are trying to kill jazz or at least satirize the hard bop revival of the 1980s, while other songs sometimes manage to be both inside and outside at the same time. The interaction between Slusser (who alternates between tenor, soprano, and bass clarinet) and Ralph Carney (alto and clarinet) is colorful and accessible even when at its most explorative, and more complex than it sounds when their music borders on Dixieland and circus music. Bassist Richard Saunders and drummer Chris Ackerman are subtle and stimulating, while guitarist Robert Zucker is an asset on the two songs on which he performs. All of the concise originals have stories behind them outlined in Slusser's well-written liner notes. There is no lack of spirit and joy to these performances; highly recommended. - Scott Yanow, Allmusic.com

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