The Jeff Gauthier Goatette - Open Source (Cryptogramophone, 2011)
Violinist and composer Jeff Gauthier wears a diverse array of hats in the jazz and improvised music world. Founder of the well-regarded Cryptogrampohone record label, and an in demand producer, he still finds time to record his own music. Gauthier states that his vision of Open Source means drawing from a diverse well of creativity, and he has assembled a fine crew for the achievement of this mission. He is joined by John Fumo on trumpet, Nels Cline on guitar, David Witham on keyboards, piano, and accordion, Joel Hamilton on bass, and Alex Cline on drums and percussion. The music is a diverse mix of electric and acoustic performances, with sketches that develop into flavorful improvisations. They can be fast and wild, and also develop abstract and spooky vibes as well. 40 Lashes (With Mascara)" is a fascinating opener, coming on strong as contemporary classical music meeting jazz fusion and progressive rock. They come together like chocolate and peanut butter with a smoky trumpet interlude and strong drumming jumping to inspired progressive fusion. Nels Cline throws some snarling wicked guitar into the mix combining nastily with electronics and drums. Dark Night" and Things Past" show the group's gentle side with fine ballad playing featuring acoustic guitar, violin and delicate brushes. Guitarist Nels Cline blasts off for the stratosphere on Prelude to a Bite," channeling his whiplash musical sensibility into the groups identity. The album's final track Open Source" blends all of the group's diverse components into an extraordinary fourteen plus minute suite. This was a very well done album, which brings together a like minded group of open-eared musicians to create an album that is exploratory, yet accessible.