Coat Cooke

Another "High Wire" Review

Here's another new review from the website "The Sound Projector"

Which brings me to the High Wire (NOW ORCHESTRA RECORDS CLNOW007) CD by Coat Cooke & Rainer Wiens. It’s funny how certain sleeve artistry can swivel its hips and sell you the perfect dummy as regards its contents. A scratchy line drawing of the duo (20c euro-surrealist stick figures v Jad Fair-style handiwork), seems to suggest two men, eyeballs on stalks, on a Ted Milton meets Chadbourne’s ‘Rake’ trip, but these Canadian free jazzers generate a more subtle range of moods a couple of notches below ‘raging’ – if you will. Coat’s sax lines can be skidaddingly busy (“Storm Eye”) and, on occasion, suspenseful/measured (“Space Landing”) while Rainer appears to be a guitar manipulator of an extreme stripe. All those familiar attributes of the gitbox are utterly blown to smithereens and possibly beyond. The fiend. A fiend whose vocab of wide-ranging metallic sonorities has certain echoes in the work of fellow countryman Tim Olive, perhaps. So strap yourselves in for a soundworld where hailstones (as big as ball bearings) splatter against rusted metal railings and then combine with clanking percussive broadsides and the moan of a defective slinky made entirely of rusted cutlery. Or not?…a couple of pics of this noisesome beast would’ve been really useful. For me, the high point of all this plucked and blown activity has to be the ten minutes plus of “Elevation” in which the guitar thing from Planet X is stood down in favour of the gentler sproing of the thumb piano. The lyrical sax moves had me scribbling in a previous draft “John Surman on a fact finding mission within deepest Africa” and I see no reason to amend that really… It’s a stellar track and a fascinating collection to boot. The CD’s title suggests a fine line between assured movement and collapse. This is assured movement as sure as eggs. This comes from the Now Orchestra imprint, which is also responsible for the formation of a sixteen man improv ork in which Barry Guy, George Lewis and Marilyn Crispell have taken guest spots over the past few years.