Live From Earth
(2010 - 1k Recordings - USA)
The 2nd CD by Base3 follows in the same vein as their debut (Darkmatter) with a more celestial sounding King Crimson, in their spatial more mid-70's improv pieces on releases like ‘Starless and Bible Black”, and also early KC like “Islands”. This is all instrumental and at times has a more jazz and fusion style, which allows longer groove oriented jams as well as some very interesting musical interplay among the three musicians. They are Tim Motzer on baritone guitar, Barry Meehan on bass, and Doug Hirlinger on drums. I have loved everything I’ve heard that Tim Motzer played on and this is no exception.
As many of the releases with Motzer, this is improvised and is also an archival release which was done in Philadelphia in two different periods of 2009. One track was done in 2010. Some may know another famous recording with both Doug Hirlinger and Tim Motzer done with Markus Reuter, Theo Travis and Pat Mastelotto, called ‘Descending’, that was super nice. Safe to say if you like that, you’ll like this CD by Base3.
Both tracks give the music room to breathe, and move along in both an exotic way, as well as a drifting atmosphere that seems to invoke both sky and space. The main difference in ‘Live From Earth’ is that it has some more aggressive parts with drums and bass, leading to quick jazz infused instrumental progressive rock. This creates a perfect balance of dreamy and hyper music that doesn’t just lay in the same wake throughout. I’ve compared quite a lot of this type music to ECM and this one has those moments as well. Add the more experimental sound of artists like Terje Rypdal, and also the fantastic outer music of David Torn. And I personally like the drum style of Doug Hirlinger, as the influences are Bill Bruford and Trilok Gurtu, along with a healthy dose of traditional and avant-garde jazz.
The ending cut (8 - “The Unanswered Call”) showcases everyone in the most expanded frame of mind. It’s a great way to end the CD with multiple genres effortlessly laid together in a most linear way. And the song goes for a whopping 33 minutes and is done live. However, you have to take this as the live performance it was, and lay back and drift off with the music. In that long passage you get an improvisational composition ranging from the bottom of hell to the heavenly sounds of Evening Star (Fripp & Eno) and much more. With that, I recommend this to those who love interesting instrumental jazz oriented progressive music with lots of exotic atmosphere and celestial roominess.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson on August 3rd, 2011