Jugalbandi - "Laydown Delivery"
(Great Artiste 89 Records 2004, GAJG007)
From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)
It's always a pleasure to write about a new Jugalbandi release. This all improv duo consists of Greg Segal on guitars and Hyam Sosnow on drums. As usual we've got a mixture of lengthy stretch out rockers and some shorter tracks that result in a good bit of variety. Among the more sedate tracks are "Make The Old Guy Run" Parts I & II, both short pieces that feature melodically dissonant acoustic guitar and bowed cymbal, the cymbal providing a very cool ambient effect. "The Madagascar Wombat" is a short rhythmic piece with both musicians on percussion. "Bits Of Tid" feature prepared acoustic guitar, tabla and kalimba. And "Pork Chop Sandals" is a very pleasant recorder/kalimba/tabla piece.
All very enjoyable and interesting tracks. But it's the lengthy jams where the boys really let their hair down that get me excited. The 18 minute title track starts off with a high energy drumming groove that lays the foundation for what begins as slowly jamming guitar patterns. But of course things don't sit still for long and Greg starts ripping off some fiery solo phrases. It's a really tasty guitar showcase on the one hand, and on the other it's yet another classic example of Jugalbandi functioning most adequately as a rock duo. It's become standard for me to point this out in my Jugalbandi reviews but with these guys a bassist would only get in the way. Hyam is relentless, even during his quieter passages, and together the two create something of a soundtrack piece that transitions between multiple moods and themes.
But my favorites of the set are easily "Muted Craters" and "Give Him What Four", a pair of rock solid smoking progressive heavy rockers. "Muted Craters" begins with excellent spaced out guitar that after a few minutes starts to rock out a bit. Hyam's drums begin steadily but build the tension right alongside Greg. He soon gets a rolling rock rhythm going and Greg lets loose with an outstanding combination of eye popping solos and effects that make for some mind boggling ROCK intensity. It's nice from time to time to see evidence that Rock music can still be fresh and exciting... can still ROCK, but do so in ways that really inspire the listener, as well as putting the musician's own unique stamp on it. Muted Craters kicks some serious ass. "Give Him What Four" is another standout jam track that comes roaring full blown rocking right out of the starting gate. Greg just wails on guitar for 10 minutes while Hyam keeps a steady and commanding rhythmic base going. This is heavy duty progressive, metallic, acidic shit kickin ROCK.
In summary, I'll put these guys up against your favorite power trio any day. You know how King Crimson could blow the roof off in a way that was heavy rocking... but in a cerebral and intricately structured kind of way? In their best moments that's pretty much what Greg and Hyam have achieved.
For more information you can visit the Jugalbandi web site at: http://www.jugalbandi-music.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz