Born: August 26, 1972 Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric
Rob Price is from Massachusetts. He's been encouraged by his family to study music one way or another, formally or informally, his whole life. Before picking up the guitar in 1991 (one year after he moved to New York City), he played violin, viola and piano. In NYC he started playing in various free improv groups and in the avant rock band Dim Sum Clip Job, which released an album, Harmolodic Jeopardy, on John Zorn's Avant label. He began his own label, Gutbrain Records, in 2000.
I'd heard good things about Price's previous work but this disc is my first encounter with his music. He's not the most ostentatious player, which tends to serve his music well. It also gives plenty of room to his high energy band, for Eskelin's always-inventive expressions and the bustling vigor of Dunn and Black, both supple and muscular. Price, to put it somewhat simply, rocks out quite a bit, with a heavy use of distortion and a predilection for walls of sound and repeating licks. He's got more in his bag, though, and he's also a canny enough player for this not to overwhelm the music--indeed, he uses the distorted tones resourcefully to generate lots of texture (Dashiell Hammett & Barbara Pym) and some nice fractured rhythms (Girasol and the bouncing Modern Mongoose). Eskelin sounds inspired throughout, responding to Price's dense figures with some straight-up wailing, goosed along by Black and Dunn too. If you like high-intensity improv--with a dash of space rock, some occasional balladry, and a backbone of funk--you'll enjoy this disc.
Game of Death: "Reprisal" (Gutbrain)
Combination No. 10: "Blue Punctilios" (Gutbrain)
Rob Price: "At Sunset" (Gutbrain)
Alice Bierhorst: "Jubilee" (Shur)
Rob Price & David Grollman: "Get Lost" (Gutbrain)
Rob Price Quartet: "I Really Do Not See The Signal" (Gutbrain) Rob Price, Reuben Radding & Matt Moran: "Submarine Pictures" (Gutbrain) Alice Bierhorst: "The Magic Lantern" (Shur)
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