MP3: "Egna Ot Waog" - Andrew D'Angelo (click to listen/right/ctrl-click to download)
I picked up Andrew D'Angelo's new trio record (with Trevor Dunn, bass and Jim Black, drums) at the Tea Lounge benefit on Friday night. It came with two free beers. I am of the opinion that more CDs should be sold in this manner.
It's a really great record, and quite different from anything else in Andrew's catalog. It is both incredibly varied and tightly focused -- all but one tune is under five minutes long, and most of them either sustain or slowly develop a single, simple idea for the duration. Andrew is known for his jugular-attacking intensity and that's certainly in evidence in tunes like "Bo Bee Bo Bee Bee" and "25 Hits" (which you can sample over at Feast of Music), but what I've always loved about Andrew is that he combines that take-no-prisoners freepunk swagger with warmth, humor, and a composerly sense of form and scale. Some of the best moments on this record are the more intimate ones -- the haunting subtones that open "Fichtik," the chamberlike bass-clarinet-arco bass counterpoint on "Rutloosic," the heart-on-sleeve diatonic Ornetteish balladry of "Fam Hana." But my favorite track so far is "Egna Ot Waog," a sinister, trancelike piece that, like Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men, doesn't need gunpowder to make an impression.