DIALECTICAL IMAGINATION – The Angel And The Brute Sing Songs Of Wrath

Atma Nadi

Pianist Eli Wallace and drummer Rob Pumpelly – aka Dialectical Imagination – are a body-and-soul duo of improvising instrumentalists arrived at the second album. Their music is reasonably evocative of classic free jazz flavors, although they introduce this venture as not necessarily frozen in “genres” or derivations thereof.

I have been extensively pervaded by The Angel And The Brute Sing Songs Of Wrath for a couple of mornings, one spin after another, vainly attempting to realize why – in absence of particularly prominent characteristics – I simply enjoy its company.

There seem to be no doubt about the sincerity of the players, not limited by the trademark “instinct/technical deficiency” mix frequently used as an alibi for incompetent extemporaneous manifestations. Both Wallace and Pumpelly are musicians who know what they’re doing and where they’re going, mainly tending to inhabit spaces instead of leaving them blank.

At the same time, this attitude is not perceived as conceitedness; it is indeed a true necessity. The necessity of expressing whatever the mind contains without reluctance and in vivacious flurries, viscerally rather than academically. Attributes of free jazz that, in this day and age, turn into out-and-out commonplace too often.

No such risk in this case. Even the combined repercussions of the instruments contribute to an acoustic coating made of strong feelings, notwithstanding the lack of high fidelity. The latter is not a problem with us, as the resounding pianism of Wallace and the enthusiastic drumming of Pumpelly override any residual perplexity. An alternative to this “all out” kind of dynamics is “Autopoietica II”, perhaps the lone moment in the whole set that could be described as “reflective”.

Anyhow, keeping up with futile words when the act of listening is the only way to understand brings confusion, and we don’t want that to happen. The friendly advice is to ride the currents and savor the spirit. Let yourselves be contaminated by the virulent force of two artists who do not appear overly interested in becoming Downbeat faces. At least for now.

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