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RED gen 10

Personnel

Seth Misterka (alto saxophone)
Chris Dahlgren (bass)
Jeff Arnal (percussion
)

Track Listing

1. Red (15:09)

Limited Edition 3" CD

Recorded January 18, 2003
Newsonic Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Ryan Smith
Cover art by Mark Bouthilette

* sold out

Selected Press

"That brings us to the last recording, Red. It’s a just over 15-minute, avant-garde, ambient explosion packaged on a neat little three-inch disc. The outer packaging features more artwork by Bouthilette, save for this time, instead of just a print by the artist it is actual sponged-on paint. Red, at least in this packaging, has been limited to a pressing of 50. The album features Arnal on percussion, Chris Dahlgren on double bass, and Seth Misterka on alto sax (he also recorded the album on January 18, 2003 at Brooklyn’s Newsonic Studio).

Red, in all its intense glory, takes the listener pretty far, maybe even farther than Mogami, but with an acoustic edge that resembles some African-style recordings. Arnal’s percussion is intensely rhythmic, almost chant-like with an amazingly deep groove to it. Misterka lets his alto sax speak like a shaman on the recording; it’s almost trance-like. Halfway through the recording Misterka goes into some kind of Ornette-induced hysteria and both Arnal and Dahlgren follow suit. The piece culminates in a wild orgy of bass, percussion, and saxophone. I keep using the word intensity; normally I don’t like to repeat phrases or words, but there is nothing better to describe this piece. It just simply is intense. The best way to listen is to just sit back and let it blow your mind." Ryan McDermott, One Final Note

"Slightly older, though not by much, the Brooklyn-based trio on RED, a one-track mini-CD, include percussionist Jeff Arnal, who has his own Berlin connection in a group featuring German composer/pianist Dietrich Eichmann and alto saxophonist Lars Scherzberg. Longtime collaborator with choreographers, Arnal is involved in notated and improvised music as are the other two players. Alto saxophonist Seth Misterka was a member of Anthony Braxton's Ghost Trance Ensemble, among other bands, while bassist Chris Dahlgren is in Braxton's present sextet and has worked with everyone from boppers to the Jazz Mandolin Project. There are no signs of either of those influences on RED, which is 15 minutes plus of free improv.

From the beginning though, variations on the jazz bedrock are introduced. Following the squeak of drum stick on ride cymbal, ngoni-like plucks from the bass, and the sound of colored air being forced through the sax's body tube, Arnal often appears to be thumping a kettle drum. As the piece develops, Misterka's tone lightens and takes on Arabic connotations, followed by resonation from the drummer's large unlathed cymbal. Deviating from the straight and narrow, the saxophonist begins vibrating his axe's upper partials, presaging complementary prestissimo action from the drums and spiccato from the bass. Eventually as the bass lines drone and Arnal's rim shots and nerve beats spike the kit, the reedist turns to glossolalia, reaching a climax of bagpipe-chanter style intensity. Joined for a time by an arco bass buzz, Misterka then constructs variation on the theme from a sandpaper thick reed texture. Kettledrum bounces and scouring noises from the bass strings, encourage a final series of reed twirls and double tonguing, with so many overtones that the saxophonist could be channeling both Trane and Pharoah. With Misterka seemingly spent, the finale involves quick drum rumbles and arco bass sweeps." Ken Waxman, Jazz Word