REVIEW: DRE HOCEVAR – TRANSCENDENTAL WITHIN THE SPHERE OF INDIVISIBLE REMAINDER

Dre Hocevar, has put together a very unique band with Sam Pluta, Aaron Larson Bryan Qu, Mette Rasmussen, Jeremy Corren, Zack Clarke, Lester St. Louis, and Henry Fraser. I am familiar with Mette from seeing her YouTube videos. I had the opportunity to see Henry Fraser through a solo bass performance in the Fire Music series at the Legion Bar (Brooklyn). The rest of the musicians, I am hearing for the first time. Listening to this 48 minute plus track, it is obvious they have spent a fair amount of time working with each other or in similar band configurations.

Pianist Jeremy Corren evokes familiar avant-garde linear lines that are appropriate for this musical excursion. Jeremy does not completely fill the space with his playing. This is something that most piano players do. He allows the music to breathe between his ideas. He is joined by Henry Fraser’s short rapid fire bursts on bass. Sam Pluta is doing what he does with live electronics along with Zack Clarke’s work on synthesizer. The two tend to blur their sounds together, making the electronics output sound like one. This is not your typical electronic music, it is very unorthodox. The template is largely overlaid with nice percussion work on the drum kit by Dre Hocevar. Bryan Qu and Mette Rasmussen are darting in and out, blowing short statements, here and there. The same is true for Aaron Larson Tevis on trumpet. All in all, this group is very interactive. I was not previously familiar with Dre Hocevar’s drumming. He shines during the opening minutes of this recording, allowing the electronics and synthesizer plenty of space, without overpowering the band. This section is very good throughout!

While this CD is under the leadership of Dre Hocevar, he is mostly in the background, letting the musicians follow their creative impulses. This is a wise decision on his part. Some leaders exert too much control over their band.  As a result, their music can be very restrained or even restricted.  It is a give-and-take process, though not all leaders in improvised music do this.

Henry Fraser’s constant rumbling is essentially creating the underlying tensions during this lengthy composition. His playing puts the band in the nether region and evokes a sound almost like it is coming from inside a cave! This quality is front and center around the twenty-four minute mark. Throughout this recording, the music sounds more improvised than written. At times, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. As the band winds down during the last ten minutes, there are layers of density, mainly from Jeremy Corren’s meticulous approach on the piano, through what may be partial scales and various “runs” (melodic lines) on the piano. The horns are more forward now that the band’s warmed up. Their chords and lines are highly effective adding to the polyphonic chaos in motion. Mette is using her own creativity, with her use of elongated tones and short melodic riffs.  Bryan seems to favor a somewhat darker tonal center as he improvises on his tenor saxophone. Underneath the mayhem, Henry is using a walking bass pattern, reminiscent of traditional bebop jazz, but then changes to playing chords as the band glides toward the final moments. The piece ends with a strong cymbal crash. More cymbal sounds echo as the piece fades into nothingness!

Transcendental Within the Sphere of Indivisible Remainder is highly recommended for music fans. The music underground includes electronic music as well as free jazz. Both go hand in hand as evidenced on this recording and I must say this is the best synthesis I have heard of the two. This band has done their homework and it shows throughout this performance. Dre Hocevar has a masterpiece, in my opinion, with this recording.

–Marc Edwards, May 11, 2017

Personnel

  • Sam Pluta (live electronics/signal processing)
  • Aaron Larson Tevis (trumpet)
  • Bryan Qu (saxophone)
  • Mette Rasmussen (saxophone)
  • Jeremy Corren (piano)
  • Zack Clarke (synthesizer)
  • Lester St. Louis (cello)
  • Henry Fraser (bass)
  • Dre Hocevar (drums)