Kendra Steiner

Ernesto Diaz-Infante: bajo sexto; Lisa Cameron: lap steel, membrane, cut snares, cymbal, contact mic; Lee Dockery: electric upright bass, electronics

The bajo sexto is a perfect instrument for eliciting absorbing types of reverberance, and Ernesto Diaz-Infante has been exploring its possibilities for a long time now. This live set, taped in 2012, presents two drawn-out improvisations – a solo and a trio – where one can both get lost in the sea of extended resonance-cum-reiterative strumming (think a Charlemagne Palestine on a big-sized guitar whose range tends towards the baritone/bass) and be entertained by Diaz-Infante’s “radical” side, the latter emerging during his solitary half as he starts working up the strings with sliding objects and brain-desensitizing patterns that shine of a singular beauty, thanks to the particular ringing of the tuning utilized. This was intended to be a promotional concert for the release of the excellent Emilio (also on KSE), where similar intuitions and creative sketches were amply developed; we can still enjoy some nicely echoing clangor here. When Cameron and Dockery join in, the collective texture becomes evidently thicker while a feel of joint invocation manifests itself. The mixing of varying timbres generates attractively droning clouds of hovering upper partials and chordal washes that seem to have no end, comprising smaller rhythmical incidents and roaring-and-growling manifestations that keep the audience with an eye open along the entrancement process. Different perspectives and sonic combinations that made us recall previous ecstatic experiences – recent or less – fragmented and pasted together; flexible-minded lovers of, say, Z’EV and Mohammad could find themselves gratified in tantamount quantities.

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