Review: FPR Trio, Anna Homler Quartet at ResBox, June 17.


I had to sacrifice the opening Scott Heutis Group to the Lakers-Celts championship rite, but Lakerwoodian electric guitarist Heustis huzzahed the homies' victory as he bowed off, and his last three notes showed off a luxurious vibrato, as well as a penetrating tone that Kobe and the boys coulda used when driving to the hoop.

It was a blast to have wild-card musician G.E. Stinson at my elbow during the middle set. Stinson marveled at the combination of Steuart Liebig's masterful bass technique and bent mind. He advised me to observe drum hurtsman Ted Byrnes' distinctively shocking way of expressing dense physical tattoos from the millimeter above and below his skins. At the end, Stinson dubbed the improvisations "ritual music from a religion that doesn't exist" -- "Yes it does," said vocal extrapolator Anna Homler (pictured), "just not on this planet." Liebig's electronic shenanigans and Jorge Martin's FX treatments of Homler's possessed spirit croons and toy manipulations even moved Stinson to unrestrainable Buddhistic laughter on a couple of occasions: That's the way to delectate the inner/outer orbits of sound. I will only add that the Homler quartet's hellish drones and tectonic rumbles sometimes made me feel like a kid in the House of Horrors, which was a squishy zone to revisit. You're writing it next time, Stinson.

On an entirely different planet, the theme of dark carnival carried over into the FPR Trio's set, which showed off the advantages of writing to the particular strengths of three virtuoso reedmen -- Jon Raskin (baritone), Phillip Greenlief (tenor) and Frank Gratkowski (alto and clarinet). All read from sheet music, and I really should have taken a peek to see how the debbil they could score that sh*t. The acrobatic lines, impossible unison runs, compressed fugues and Platonic-Pythagorean rhythmic dialogues were impressive enough. But what really got inside the bones was the way the trio sustained long chords, which, beyond the triads implied by the number of musicians, ended up being approximately nine-note blocks via multiphonic overblowing. Beautifully unearthly. And, y'know, sometimes Earth just ain't where you want to be.