Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Brandon Lopez / Gerald Cleaver / Andria Nicodemou / Matt Nelson - The Industry of Entropy (RELATIVE PITCH RECORDS 2018)

Each member of this quartet comes from varied backgrounds, so that even I was surprised by the line-up: Matt Nelson (from Battle Trance), Andria Nicodemou (Leap of Faith, Boston-based), Brandon Lopez (for Nate Wooley & Ivo Perelman) and Gerald Cleaver (ever in demand & working with William Parker, Roscoe Mitchell & Joe Morris). Certainly this looks like an odd line-up on paper but it works. Starting with “Not”, this quartet has a calm yet frenzied chamber-like quality. Gerald Cleaver’s ever inventive drums are at the center of the storm which seems to flow quickly, all four members burning tightly together, weaving several strands, pulsating organically. On “Now” things slow down for a more spacious resonance, the careful rustling slowly increasing into a more fragmented, somewhat twisted tapestry. Ms. Nicodemou has only been on the scene for a few years but already has a reputation for playing spirited free vibes in a her own way. 

The interplay between her expressive vibes and the rest of the quartet is consistently engaging, if you listen closely you can hear her inserting some fascinating thematic lines in unexpected places. Tenor saxist, Matt Nelson, another up & coming young reeds wiz is also in fine form, pushing things over the top at times and also creating some strong textural sounds which seems to alter the flow. For those who love free music at its best and most focused, this is a real gem. Truly OUTstanding! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

1. Not 05:58
2. Now 23:26
3. Again 06:39
4. Yet 11:53

Matt Nelson - tenor saxophone
Andria Nicodemou - vibraphone
Gerald Cleaver - drums