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Small Architecture by Scot Ray

Scot Ray composed all tracks on this CD, with the exception of "Gut," which was composed by the entire group. "Gut" happens to be the opener for this CD and is quite a journey; turning and twisting to an unknown place. Things take a funkier turn with "Architecture 1." The irony is I would expect "Gut" to have the qualities of "Architecture" and vice-versa, based on title alone. However, as the track progresses, another musical journey into twilight begins. There are some really stellar and tender melodies by Ray and some really interesting guitar work when Andrew Barbera steps up.

"Schematic," has the consistent intellectual quality of the other tracks, but burns a little more rapidly. Ray seems to take tracks and give them a variety of moods and segments, in the same way many classical pieces are performed. There are elements of jazz and rock, giving it an "alternative" edge. David Shaffer calls the listener’s attention at the marked changes of mood and delivers a variety of drum textures. "Nebo" is like an opening to a new-style horror movie, as it is extremely mysterious.... .perhaps it’s true of the entire CD to different degrees. Barbera kicks another cool guitar groove that pulls Ray and Shaffer together like glue.

Ray does some "eclectic" trombone work in "Architecture II," but "Tumbleweed" is suitable for being out in the middle of a desert or nowhere. There’s an almost hallucinatory tone to the track, which also serves as a finale to the entire CD.

If you like to intellectualize and dig mystery in your music, this is the CD for you. Scot Ray has a wide range of recorded and performance history. I’m no authority on his music, but there’s a lot to hear in "Small Architecture." The track titles are simply introductions to the mystery that’s well worth checking out.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Scot Ray
  • CD Title: Small Architecture
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Soupy Gruel Music
  • Musicians: Scot Ray (trombone, reed-driven trombone, electronics), Andrew Barbera (electric guitar), David Shaffer (drums and percussion)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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