FAME Review: Machine Mass - Inti
Machine Mass - Inti


Machine Mass

Moonjune Records - MJR060

Available from Moonjune Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Way back, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, when you could buy comic books for a dime, and when some newfangled brainac scientist types were yakking about something they called 'evolution', there was a saxophone-playing clerk at the local Platterpuss Record Shop in Manhattan Beach who had a huge hand in determining my musical tastes 'cause he, like me, loved all kinds of music and, being X number of years ahead of my twenties-something rear end, had the jump on me. Whenever I walked in, I'd ask "What's in new, Bill?" and he'd show me stuff I hadn't a clue about. One day, he handed a Dave Liebman ECM LP over the counter, the Lookout Farm slab, along with a Paul Motian release on the same label, Tribute, and I spent a very happy evening playing both twice through before drifting off to sleep. Then I recorded 'em on cassette and Hawthorne Boulevard was more than once serenaded as my VW van made its way around town. When I'm driving, I like to play my music loud.

Well, Liebman's a member of this high-energy free/outside/jazz/prog/composite Machine Mass group, and Inti harks straight back to the days before ECM made the ill-fated move to join up with Universal and its pelican-headed idiots, but also brings back the glory days of Japo and ensembles like Om. You might recall that John Abercrombie played on Liebman's Lookout Farm and various Motian LPs gigs, and guitarist Michel Delville of Doubt (here) and The Wrong Object (here) is like a cross between John, Sonny Sharrock, Om's Christy Doran, and others. Drummer Tony Bianco is likewise a distinguished cat, having played with Elton Dean and Evan Parker as well as accompanying Delville in Doubt. He's the guy who keeps up a constant rolling beat acting as the terrain upon which his partners stomp, blare, tip-toe, gambol, and slewfoot.

Inti is a return of Liebman, who played with Miles and a list of the best, to top old-days form on not just tenor and soprano sax but also wooden flute, in places overdubbing himself (Delville dubs in keyboards as well). Every cut is an orgy of freak-outs, skewed manners, crazed sounds, spooky and chaotic atmospheres, and so on, though there are pools of relative calm here and there (some of Utoma, for one, and The Secret Place, with Saba Tewelde, for another). All up, though, this is a muscular release and an excellent start of the year for the MoonJune label, indeed auspicious, promising much in the coming twelvemonth.

(And if you happen to grab this disc from the MJ website, you might also want to take a glance at the latest sampler: 7 hours of drop dead killer music for a mere $2…that's kinda like comic books costing ten cents again!)

Track List:

  • Inti (Bianco / Liebman)
  • Centipede (Bianco / Delville)
  • Lloyd (Tony Bianco)
  • In A Silent Way (Joe Zawinul)
  • A Sight (Michel Delville)
  • Utoma (Tony Bianco)
  • The Secret Place (Michel Delville)
  • Elisabeth (Bianco / Delville / Liebman)
  • Voice (Bianco / Liebman)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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