Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Three to Watch in 2013
Each member is a composer and contributor to Dice Factory's sound, which mixes a great deal of accoustic play with a quiet yet effective dose of electronica. "Heyu Nantucket" starts right in with a catchy, somewhat jagged piano-driven melody that immediately reminded me of the works of Vijay Iyer or Matthew Shipp, and I was not surprsed to find the reference to Iyer's work as an influence in some of the band's materials. The jagged tune goes on for eight minutes with tradeoffs between the sax and piano, and sometimes unison play, and the whole piece reflects the band's commitment to structured chaos. A very exciting start, and one that is picked up again and again. "Gooch" starts with some strange rhythmic play by the bass and percussion, but then introduces a gentle melody on sax that dominates a very pleasing song even as the unusual rhythm patterns are played underneath. "Saribund" is another of the catchy tunes that tip the cap to Iyer and others. "Eternal Moment" is pretty far out there on the abstract/free curve, with a wailing sax part over a propulsive beat, and then the band returns to the more serene sound of "Pipes." Challenger on sax can play sweet or forceful as demonstrated in the range just between these two songs, but he is always in synch with his playing partners, and is outstanding throughout and especially endearing on some of the balladic tunes. Very nice modern abstract jazz for the more adventerous listener.