There are certain days when I’m offended by the genre title “avant-garde”. Because, let’s be honest, what really comes to mind when you hear that word? And don’t fuck with me. I can’t even hear you. You’re reading words. There’s no point. Also, I know deep down, somewhere between your soul and your colon, even if it’s infinitesimal, you have the thought that says that most avant-garde art is horseshit. Not “horse” and “shit”, but the beautifully complex compound word “horseshit”. Fuck that space. Squeeze that shit together. Dense words make more sense crammed together. Horseshit: absurd, deceptive, nonsense, or lies/lying as in “that’s horseshit”. It can also mean bad, gross, disgusting, exhausted, and tired, as in the phrase, “Ralph, you look like pure horseshit” (which distinguishes it from the more commonly used “bullshit”). It can also mean sick, nauseous, guilty, ashamed, ugly, as in “Fuck Ralph, I feel like absolute horseshit” (which, again, distinguishes it from its bovine cousin). And there’s also its adjectival use as in “that’s horseshit art”. So, when I saw the genre title “avant-garde” next to this album, I felt the need to explain a few things.
Is this album avant-garde? Ya, but it’s not horseshit. There’s not a single mare, filly, pony, foal, colt, stallion, nag, bronco, or equestrian smell to this album. First off, there’s no deception of talent. Two seconds into this and you’ll know that both Binker Golding (saxophone) and Moses Boyd (drums) are talented as fuck. They’re not “talented for avant-garde musicians”, they’re plain talented. They have both won lists of awards and played alongside the legends of this crazy craft. Their jazz cred is legit as fuck. With that, this jazz duo decided to make the kind of free jazz you’d expect to hear at a summer block party. It’s accessible even in its edginess. Sure, it will take your nerves and rub that shit till it’s pink and raw, but it’s still accessible. It’s even danceable. Fuck, I brought my dancing “A” game while making a sandwich cause of these slick sound waves. Sandwich innards were everywhere, but damn, it was worth it.
I can’t imagine this album without hearing the live crowd in the background. Not only does it give you that live feel, but as you hear the screams, the whistles, the grunts, the hollers, you also hear the fun. It’s fucking infectious. You hear the type of environment jazzheads often picture the late ’60s being like. It’s wild. It’s free. It’s open. But this shit is modern. It’s now. Modern people having fun to free jazz? What the fuck? They’re dancing and having fun to avant-garde music? Ya, that’s right, motherfuckers. Blinker and Moses make music that goes back to the heart of what jazz is all about. You can hear the soul of jazz in these tunes. Cause jazz isn’t some lonely kid pissing into his horn and calling it modern. It’s not a one-horsed town. It’s an energy that pumps the very heart of a city. The only horse in this shit is short for heroin. It’s the density and panic of a chaotic life suddenly turned into a party. It’s the fun part of madness. But no sense putting the cart before the music. Cause I’m not going to flog a dead horse to try and lead you to water. It’s better to hear this from the horse’s mouth. So, get off your high-horse, saddle up, pony up, drink this shit, jump on the bandwagon, and listen to some unbridled jazz. Sure, it’s a horse of a different colour but it’s hung like a dark fucking stallion.