Matt Mitchell & Kate Gentile - Snark Horse
Cat. no: PI90
Release Date: 03 Sep 2021
Snark Horse’ is a book of 70 highly-detailed one-bar compositions by pianist / composer Matt Mitchell and percussionist / composer Kate Gentile designed to incite inventive, multi-directional improvisation.
Presented in a 6-CD box set with a beautiful 12-page booklet. Snark Horse is also the name of a revolving cast of musicians - including Mitchell and Gentile - who have performed this music in various combinations since 2013. Mitchell’s prior release, ‘Phalanx Ambassadors’, was called by Popmatters “a high watermark for the new jazz...a breathtaking jawdropper from one of the best pianists and composers now working.”
Gentile’s 2017 debut release, ‘Mannequins’, was described by The New York Times as “full of stuttering rhythms and teetering intervallic jumps; an array of textures - sometimes chiming, sometimes abraded - disorient you even as they deepen your listening.”
For this recording, Mitchell and Gentile convened eight other eccentric musicians - all of whom have taken part in Snark Horse performances over the years - in varying combinations. Despite the small nuggets of musical information, their approach is still jazz-oriented: the musicians first play, and then improvise on the tunes. The onebar compositions can be looped, connected, made into vamps, transposed, inverted, alternated, played together to create other-worldly counterpoint, basically in infinite permutations.
Ultimately, Mitchell and Gentile’s intention behind ‘Snark Horse’ is to make a highly improvisational and expansive environment using compressed versions of the kinds of material they use in their longer pieces. The compositions help foster a unique, highly imaginative universe for the musicians to show off their individual takes on this truly idiosyncratic music.
Their energy is captured in over 270 minutes of music, interwoven with 60 additional minutes of electronic material composed and performed by Mitchell in response to the group recordings. The entire daunting project presents the musicians’ resourceful creativity to full effect.
CD 1: flock adulation / compartments | ‘s partial / hem(atoadaso)da / a pouting grimace | greasy puzzle / forn / pheromone quiz / deep recess / fertile pinwheels / key tettle | FLARDLE / igh | dogmacile
CD 2: trapezoids | matching tickles / all tall ghosts / nudgelet / thumbly / asymptotic rest area / underblobb sys / feral pineals / torpid blather | fuck your capitalization style | pendulum wobbles / teeming molten holdings
CD 3: thing-fact | theoretical muscle / adrenal halos | dog mma((t)t)gic / alphabotanical / bogs and silence / fickle laughing / for teens | spinal thought | peripheral drome / infractal sentences / glubz | spelling bad on purpose
CD 4: garlic plastics / f tessellations | chimeric numbers / tooth helmet / Torn / feebleau / fruit velvet / mind goggle | end of something / regular falutin’ / supple bicepsual | is jingles | utter balbis
CD 5: phoofaux | rejected names | high popes / startling and diaphanous | the gnostic and the spastic / B / strikes me as wanting to make me barf | clump 3 / mad homonyms | phex / plungeon / ought gobs | T
CD 6: breach zone / elegiac foldouts | gluey clamor / mighnutes / glue cubes| inkblot terrain | clock levitation | cat secrets | bludgement / catjinx / fettleau | a spree...canopy
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