Sonic Reducer

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Neither for the faint of heart nor the casual listener, pianist/composer John Escreet’s debut CD reveals itself only to concentrated listening. Escreet shows a near-symphonic ambition in his longer pieces, particularly the three-part “Suite of Consequence,” where dense, urgent, sometimes cacophonous passages deliquesce into pools of placid beauty, only to erupt again. While he does not hit all the compositional marks he sets, he does set marks worth hitting, and his command of the piano, especially on his solo rendition of Andrew Hill’s “No Doubt,” is extraordinary. Special kudos to David Binney (alto sax, electronics) and Matt Brewer (bass). (MM)

Two Tongues Two Tongues (Vagrant Records)

Two Tongues merges the talents of singer-songwriters Chris Conley of Saves The Day and Max Bemis of Say Anything; then the emo dream team picks up two more members from each band to make it a four-piece. What Two Tongues delivers takes as much from high-strung grunge as it does from its emo roots. Fans of Saves The Day and Say Anything will be pleased by how well the creative forces of both groups complement each other. Conley’s pubescent vocals make Bemis’ seem gruff by comparison. The rise-and-fall dynamics are Bemis’ stamp on the project, and nobody does teen angst quite like Conley. (SM)

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