GREEN MONKEY RECORDS: Tom's Top 10 of 2017

GREEN MONKEY RECORDS: Tom's Top 10 of 2017

1. Battle Trance – Palace of Winds. "I ran into this by total accident. Last spring I went to Obsidian in downtown Olympia to see Arrington de Dionyso do a set with his band This Saxophone Kills Fascists. They were opening for a band I had never heard or heard of, Battle Trance. Battle Trance is four guys playing tenor sax. Nothing else. And they sound like nothing else, partly because their dense tonal range – everyone in playing within the pitch possibility of what a tenor can do. Don’t go higher, don’t go lower. Secondly, this music has little or no improvisation that I could detect. At Obsidian, they played the 50-minute piece on this record and it sounded basically like it sounds on the disc. Which is fantastic. Glorious. Travis Laplante, the composer, uses non-traditional sax techniques as well as circular breathing to get everybody to the finish line. There are points in this when it reminds me of Philip Glass’s “Einstein” at its most furious while at other points it is simply pastoral. Masterful in its conception, masterful in its execution."