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Ingrid Laubrock

The Last Quiet Place

Review by Gary Hill

The music here is quite unique and intriguing. It seems to walk a line between classical, jazz and prog rock zones. It's all experimental and freeform in nature. It's also quite effective. It has a great balance between mellower and more powered up zones. There are definitely parts of this that make me think of King Crimson, but that's just one piece of the puzzle.

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Track by Track Review
This comes in sedate and rather classical music based. This evolves very slow and remains quite restrained, but it also manages to get gradually weirder and more experimental. By around the half-way mark this has risen up and freeform jazz concepts have taken over. It continues by seemingly merging jazz, classical and art music angles.
Grammy Season
Coming in much more energized, jazz, rock, experimental music and more are all incorporated on this driving romp. This works through a number of different sections, twisting and turning. There are some parts of this that make me think of King Crimson. This gets into some pretty strange, but so tasty, territory as it continues. There are some more stripped down, mellower moments at times, but they still remain artsy and trippy.
The Last Quiet Place
The title track comes in mellower and melodic. It turns to a percussive section with a driving energy seeming ready to take it into new directions further down the road. That drops away, instead of rising up as it seems it might. A sedate string part is heard. The cut grows from there to a more melodic arrangement that gradually intensfies and turns more dangerous. This eventually gets into more mainstream, but still freeform, jazz zones. There are some cool percussive things that come in later along with some intriguing guitar elements. I'm actually reminded of more modern King Crimson at points as this is really grooving.
Coming in with freeform Crimson-like jazz jamming, This gets crazed and freaky as it works forward. Eventually that drops away and a noisy, but sedate, buzzing sound takes over. Spacey jazz and classical elements emerge after a time to take over from there. This remains somewhat ambient, but there is a lot going on in terms of strange musical interplay. There is a weird section later where drums drive the piece as bits of guitar and chirping horn alternate. That segment eventually ends the track.
This comes in with classical strings that feel like a sad part of the soundtrack to an old film. The track eventually makes its way back to the kind of experimental jazz that we've come to expect. It feels mysterious and a little unsettling at times. It is also dramatic.
Chant II
At well over 11-minutes long, this is the epic of the album. The track comes in rather freaky and symphonic. This works through in that sort of vein for a time, but then builds out with cool freeform jazz. This gets pretty crazed. Different instruments take command at different times. There are all kinds of twists and turns, shifts and varying movements. Weird chirping sounds take command after the nine-minute mark. That section is built on to create the final motif of the album.

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