Recent listening, current

Monday, May 25, 2015

200. Giger Lenz Marron / Where the Hammer Hangs (1976) & 201. Giger Lenz Marron / Beyond (1977)

Peter Giger's career is full of wild one-way streets. It's like he can do it all, equally at home playing it straight, or rattling through an assortment of percussion instruments in jams of thorny, implacable experimentalism. Where the Hammer Hangs and its sister slab Beyond are just a short stop in his considerable career. Both albums are presently out of print, and are obscure considering his other accomplishments in major jazz circles. If you're familiar with Giger's work in more mainstream engagements, it's probably best to come at these from the Dzyan angle (which was actually my introduction to Giger some time back). Hammer and Beyond were released on his own Någarå label, and stylistically speaking, pick up right where the Dzyan vehicle left off. There are differences. Just like Dzyan, you will hear searching group improvisations, hints of Eastern rhythm and instrumentation, druggy, reverb-laden guitar forays, and plenty of crossover from the above. But Giger Lenz Marron has fewer pedestrian handholds, less that is familiar, and seemingly no rules except for limitations imposed by the instruments themselves. It's like the ingredients of a Dzyan album, but set in a different project removed from whatever restriction was imposed by the group moniker. Although not a major pit stop on the timeline of such prolific musicians as these, the GLM trio interests me for its freedom of form as well as its connections to several trends that first emerged ten years prior. It proves that jazz is a many faceted thing that will continue to be wrought anew by the creative hands and minds that shape it.

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