I’m no authority on Free-Jazz, and though I enjoy listening, I’ve never deigned to write about it. It contains many elements, and being improvisational in nature, is wide open to interpretation, so do take a listen and explore these worlds from your perspective, recieve your own impressions.
Dialectical Imagination are a duo that consists of Eli Wallace and Rob Pumpelly. Rob also runs the label Atma Nadi and has studied under some notable artists such as Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith while at Mills College. Eli has an MM in Jazz Composition from The New England Music Conservatory in Boston. He has also performed at the Outsound New Music Summit. Both have ties to the Bay Area, Rob being located in Oakland and Eli having grown up in El Cerrito. They have also both performed with Bay Area Free Jazzer Rent Romus.
The duo were kind enough to send me a hard copy of the latest release “The Angel and The Brute Sing Songs of Wrath” which comes as a cleverly designed usb stick housed in a cassette shell. The instrumentation consists of piano and drums/percussion. The music is top notch and expertly executed, there is obvious musicianship in this. Themes drift from chaotic and driving frenetic rhythms, and dissonance, to light and ethereal piano guided interludes. Both musicians take turns to shine while maintaining a musical dialog. This would fit right in with any of the Free-jazz or ‘Black Classical’ music of that era. Highly enjoyable and not too challenging for those who might normally be put off by this sort of abstractness, there is an inherent flow to this.
The duo will be performing in the Bay Area, in Oakland, at The Octopus Literary Salon on Dec 26th.
Here’s an excellent set from Seattle 2016: