|Sean Moran (guitar), Jason Wildman (drums) and Matt Glassmeyer (saxophone, buzzaphone and other miscellaneous sounds and samples) surgically drop convention in instrumentation and composition while piquing curiosity through ten tracks. The trio's unencumbered improvisation is the three-legged planchette that pulses around the Ouija Board, spelling out any number of calming to shocking results.
One Final Notes says: It is interesting to note that during the past decade or so, a variety of bands have cropped up that might fall within the context of avant-fusion, indie-jazz-rock, or improv-rock—basically folks that embrace rock, improv, and jazz in their creation of a unique concoction of elements for contemporary ears. Recent bands like Jim Black’s AlaxNoAxis or others with Black’s name on the marquee might be good examples of players who grew up with rock, but are fully engaged in the jazz arena. Such practitioners also thrive on the spirit of improvisation and the flash of creativity, yet lack a fear of laying down a hefty groove every once in a while. BIFT, comprised of guitarist Sean Moran, saxophonist Matt Glassmeyer, and drummer Jason Wildman, is yet another strong New York collective that adheres to the aforementioned ethos.
For the overall sound of the record, they merge the influences of the above, including faint shades of electronic music, to create an atmosphere that is often gloomy, mysterious, or, on the other hand, amusing or devilishly thrilling. While the trio performs in their traditional instrumental roles, they should be given credit for adding a wealth of non-traditional sounds to the program that also includes Glassmeyer’s buzzaphone, samplers, and “miscellaneous sounds”. As an added bonus, the trio’s blend is post-produced/altered/shaped by Downtown wunderkind Jamie Saft, who mixes a sparkling final product that combines a host of sounds both expected and unexpected, though never out of place.
The trio commences with the buoyant beat of “Criminal”, thanks to Wildman’s Jim Black-like shuffles, piquant tenor sax ruminations from Glassmeyer, and a variety of textures from Moran, all chopped and diced into a sound blender after its initial sortie. Also a nail-biter, the haunting “Police, The” uses Glassmeyer’s frantic overdubbed tenor, Moran’s effected guitar soundscapes, and Wildman’s driving drums to create an urgent drama. BIFT’s soundworld also contains some hushed terrains, for which high marks are given to the forlorn Randy Newman heartbreaker, “Same Girl”, with Glassmeyer’s desolate tenor (or is it his buzzaphone?) dripping with gloom, as well as the lovely “Petit Nina In Room I”.
There are some more straightforward jaunts, such as in the rolling “Petit Nina In Room II”, sparked by Wildman’s drum barrage or the joyous jazz-tinged vamp of “Chicken Feet”. They also have a hell of a lot of fun on the terse rhythmic sing song of “Papa Papa Pa Pa” and the concluding distorted shuffle of “O Pardon”, where Moran gets a downright nasty tone. But taken all together, it’s a program that flourishes on the strength of the musicians and their seemingly boundless creativity.