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Ava Mendoza 、 Devin Hoff Revels - Echolocation - Import CD

Ava Mendoza 、 Devin Hoff Revels - Echolocation - Import CD



October 13, 2023


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Catalog No.: AUMF1172

JAN/ISBN: 642623311721

Number of Discs: 1

Country/Region of Manufacture: Import


Ava Mendoza & Devin Hoff Revels


Echolocation is the debut from New York quartet Mendoza Hoff Revels. Co-led by guitarist Ava Mendoza and bassist Devin Hoff, who split composing duties evenly, the quartet is completed by saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and multifaceted drummer Ches Smith. Mendoza, a Brooklyn-based guitarist, leads the vanguard rock outfit Unnatural Ways, and has worked with many musicians, including Fred Frith and Matana Roberts, and played in the power trio (with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver) that issued the acclaimed Mayan Space Station (2021). Her chief collaborator, bassist/composer Hoff, is also widely experienced and has worked with many artists including Nels Cline, Ben Goldberg, Yoko Ono, Xiu Xiu, and Joshua Redman. While all of these musicians are firmly associated with the jazz vanguard, new music, and free improv scenes, Echolocation offers a wealth of musical directions these players anticipate, follow, and embellish with taste, inspiration, and confidence. Hoffs "Dyscalculia" opens with massively distorted bass and guitar vamps that recall Tony Iommi before moving into terrain that reflects the influence of guitarist Sonny Sharrocks classic Ask the Ages (1991), Last Exit, and vintage Detroit power trio Death. Furthermore, the interlocking melody lines exchanged by Mendoza and Lewis directly channel Ornette Coleman & Prime Time and Curlew. The title track, composed by Mendoza, offers a near-ambient series of guitar washes before Lewis enters. The harmonic progression evolves, then opens. He solos first, evoking open spiritual space atop rumbling tom-toms and a droning bassline. Mendoza begins threading tense power chords between Lewis horn lines, then wanders into a break that travels through metal, blues, post-bop, and spiritual jazz. Her "Interwhining" is a set highlight. Commencing with a massively funky vamp played by the entire band, Mendoza adds dissonant chords and shard-like leads, as Smith and Hoff impose a rhythmic cadence. Soon the guitarist and saxophonist are channeling avant-prog a la early King Crimson and Henry Cow. Mendozas "New Ghosts" deliberately places precise, dissonant guitar phrases embellished by Smith and Hoff as Lewis answers in kind. The quartet then approaches improvisation from several directions yet stays focused and balanced. Her careening "Diablada" is based on a Bolivian folk dance but moves into squalling 21st century jazz-metal fusion with volcanic saxophone eruptions and tripped-out, monstrously fine grooves from the rhythm section. While "The Stumble" (not the Freddie King tune) begins with a more economical musical context, the players begin a hoary journey into raging jazz-rock improv. In Hoffs closer, "Ten Forward," different melodies from Mendoza and Lewis wind around one another amid Smiths incessant snare, cymbal, and kick-drum activity, delivering a polyrhythmic attack supported by a droning bassline that anchors the soloists in this ever-spiraling jam. Echolocation offers heaviness, kinetic interaction, harmonic exploration, and next-level improvisational communication. This is a wonderful and wondrous debut. ~ Thom Jurek


5.New Ghosts
7.The Stumble
8.ten Forward

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