Gorilla Mask isn’t only a power trio. Instead of guitar there’s an alto saxophone, and the music comes more from the jazz heritage than rock. Yes, there’s something of the distorted energy of the seminal punk band Black Flag; but the leader of the group, Canadian Peter Van Huffel, comes from the lineage of Charlie Parker and Eric Dolphy to find an appraising estuary in Peter Brotzmann. “Bite My Blues” is exactly what the title announces – a blues album – even if it doesn’t resemble in any way what you find in Chicago’s traditional blues clubs. Those are the roots of this metal-jazz outfit, very different from other projects with Van Huffel’s participation, such as House of Mirrors: a chamber-like context in which jazz somehow mixes with Ligeti and Messiaen. Now things are more direct. This music looks you in the eyes and tell no lies. It speaks frontally and never squiggles, always trying to pull the carpet from under your feet. Bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner act as a riffing machine, keeping your muscles tense and ears open; and Van Huffel jumps and dances on top or dives in the middle of all the rhythm and all the noise, striving for uncharted territories and truly achieving his goal. One thing’s for sure: after playing this CD you won’t need to jog!
released July 1, 2014
Peter Van Huffel – alto sax
Roland Fidezius – electric bass, effects
Rudi Fischerlehner – drums
4) Bite My Blues
5) Broken Flower
6) Fast & Flurious
All compositions by Peter Van Huffel (GEMA)
Track 7, “Z”, published by Edition Double Moon for the album “HOWL!” (Between the Lines, 2012)
Tracks 1, 3-6 recorded live on July 2nd, 2013 at The Emmet Ray, Toronto ON, Canada. Tracks 2 & 7 recorded live on July 3rd, 2013 at the Tranzac, Toronto ON, Canada.
Recorded and mixed by Patric McGroarty.
Mastered by Fedge.
Total mastery of patience, time, and drama create a constantly engaging journey that never gets tiresome or same-y: in fact the harder you listen the better it gets! Somehow Sorey et al. find a way to combine the deep listening and spontaneous interaction of the best jazz with the sense of every tone and sound being worth a universe of listening, which could be equally from Cage and Feldman or the accompaniment to an ancient ritual.
The recording/engineering is absolutely perfect as well. Giles
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.