I just got home from a really impressive performance by some MSU student musicians at East Lansing’s SCENE Metrospace gallery. I don’t know what the name of their group is, but if you ever get the chance to hear Alex Kreger, Kevin Bene, Susanna Mendlow, and Ryan Ptasnik, you should do it. They play a compelling blend of avant-garde jazz and folk music. I don’t have a recording of these guys, but listening to them tonight reminded me a lot of a group called Gutbucket, that I heard several years at Mizzou.
It is music that includes a lot of extremes. Sometimes it is very tightly controlled and intricate. At other times it seems simply out-of-control in a very appealing way. Often, these two sounds are jammed against one another to create some great textural counterpoint. Check out some of their albums on Amazon: Dry Humping The American Dream and Sludge Test, the latter of which includes a truly incredible transcription (do we still call it that?) of Olivier Messiaen’s “Dance of the Furies” from the Quartet for the End of Time.