Pasa Tem­pos

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MU­SIC & PER­FOR­MANCE Mu­sic by Róisín Mur­phy and Jack DeJohnette

RÓISÍN MUR­PHY Hair­less Toys (PIAS) Ir­ish song­writer Róisín Mur­phy has been in­vested in elec­tronic mu­sic since the mid-1990s, both with the duo Moloko and as a solo artist. That’s a lot of time to try on dif­fer­ent guises in a gen­eral genre that seems to evolve on an hourly ba­sis, and she’s done ev­ery­thing from big club bangers to trip-hop and jazz-in­flu­enced songs. Hair­less Toys finds her set­tled into a com­fort­able groove of ex­quis­ite min­i­mal­ist com­po­si­tions that she uses as a frame­work to touch on ev­ery­thing she’s done well over her ca­reer. “Un­in­vited Guest” is wob­bly, off-kil­ter funk in the Ste­vie Won­der tra­di­tion, while “Ex­ile” is a straight­for­ward torch song. Mur­phy adapts to the range of ma­te­rial by singing in ev­ery­thing from a chirpy, airy falsetto to a husky, breathy bari­tone. On the bal­lad “Hair­less Toys (Gotta Hurt),” she pushes her voice through mild re­ver­ber­a­tion that she slowly peels back, as if al­low­ing her­self to come into fo­cus. “Ex­ploita­tion” clocks in at nearly 10 min­utes long and fea­tures the line “I just don’t know who is ex­ploit­ing who” as a cen­ter­piece for count­less click­ing beats to spi­der­web out from. The spa­cious min­i­mal­ism is some­what de­cep­tive; the more time you spend with this record and the louder you play it, the more the de­tails be­come ap­par­ent and the sub­tle shifts be­come seis­mic. Ev­ery noise on this record ex­ists for a rea­son, and it’s up to you to dis­cover it. —Robert Ker

JACK DEJOHNETTE Made in Chicago (ECM) This live ses­sion from the 2013 Chicago Jazz Fes­ti­val re­unites drum­mer Jack DeJohnette with other early mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Cre­ative Mu­si­cians — Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Thread­g­ill on sax­o­phones and flutes and Muhal Richard Abrams on pi­ano — and adds vet­eran bassist Larry Gray. The mu­sic is gen­er­ally feral. Re­call­ing their early ex­per­i­ments in the liner notes, DeJohnette says Abrams “wanted to ex­plore dif­fer­ent ways of com­pos­ing and im­pro­vis­ing.” The pi­anist adds, “Ev­ery­one came ready to be an in­di­vid­ual. That’s all it took. And it’s quite strong to be amongst peo­ple who want to pur­sue their in­di­vid­u­al­ism and ac­cept that re­al­iza­tion.” The al­bum opener, “Chant,” be­gins with a heart­beat-like four-note pat­tern and even­tu­ally blos­soms into an elec­tri­fy­ing ca­coph­ony, with oc­to­ge­nar­ian Abrams us­ing the pat­tern as a spring­board for com­plex fan­cies. DeJohnette par­tic­i­pates vi­brantly and then has his own space for some more as­sertive kit­work, but in a few mo­ments Mitchell joins him on so­prano, of­fer­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing ar­ray of mi­cro­tones, flur­ries, and squeakvoic­ings. By the time Thread­g­ill comes back, the mu­sic is at storm level. On “Jack 5,” Gray fash­ions a won­der­fully in­ven­tive pizzi­cato solo and then switches to arco on Mitchell’s qui­etly pon­der­ous, some­times dolor­ous “This.” The leader’s “Mu­seum of Time” is widerang­ing, of­fer­ing lots of room for ev­ery­one to stretch with over­lap­ping ex­cur­sions. The con­cert en­core, “Ten Min­utes,” is wildly im­pro­vi­sa­tional, full-on in­ten­sity. — Paul Wei­de­man

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