Paul Flaherty & Zach Rowden – As Far As Death (2022)

Posted by gregg on October 14, 2022
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01. The Question Drops
02. Under The Tough Acid
03. Fire In Smoke
04. Foot Stone
05. Thrown Shadows

RIYL Tony Conrad, Kali Malone, Steven O’Malley, Exploding Star Orchestra, Pharoah Sanders. As Far As Death is the cross-generational debut of fire music evangelist and saxophonist Paul Flaherty with double bassist and composer Zach Rowden. The Connecticut natives forge an album of dynamic free jazz interplay that also draws on imporous textures of contemporary music – an ecstatic reflection. After a half century of blowing the alto and tenor saxes, Flaherty’s playing continues to molt and electrify. Whether solo, or with collaborators (Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Bill Nace, Daniel Carter, etc.), his blues-based, lyrical melodies anchor lung-bursting gallops. Rowden – whether as Tongue Depressor (a string duo with Henry Birdsey), in performance with cellist Leila Bordreuil, or his own musique concrete constructions balances harshness and elegiac drones. His past releases resemble resolute exploration into acoustics and noise. Together, Flaherty’s monstrous howl is perfectly matched by Rowden’s subterranean pitched drone and glacial pace. Each offers weeping lurches of tune, gasps of balladry and microtonal fields of interplay on five pieces. The side-long “Thrown Shadows” is an epic passage of avant jazz vs minimalism, as Rowden’s low-register bowing offers a blackened landscape for Flaherty’s most mournful notes. Artwork by Chris Corsano. Edition of 300. Flaherty has released a widen range of albums with Sunburned Hand of the Man, Thurston Moore, Bill Nace and others.

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