CD Review: Zen Tarr | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It

CD Review: Zen Tarr 

click to enlarge cd-zen-tarr.jpg

Zen Tarr finds the rhythm section of the badass horn band Mad Satta forgoing vocals, groove, functional harmony, and form generally, joining the credentialed experimental Rosendale violinist Richard Carr (father of Mad Satta bassist/musical director Ben Carr) for 11 improvised excursions. Actually, the liner notes disclose, there was only one: a single interaction undertaken with "no preconceived ideas" that was mined for its moments of coherence and spontaneous form after the fact and assigned the titles of "Medium Tedium" (modal noir), "Reprieve" (pretty space), and "Half a Sliff" (a percolating pattern study). Drummer Zane West teases with grooves, but they never gain much traction before the pulse retreats to the primordial zone of possibility. Bassist Ben Carr seems the most committed to pattern here, often serving his mates un-bass-like ostinatos to position themselves in relation to. Guitarist Ted Morcaldi employs a rockish tone and attack, a contrast to Richard Carr's lithe and looped violin microcompositions. Much of Zen Tarr's atmosphere derives from effects—multiple delay lines chattering most times. "Free" denotes the absence of preexisting forms and changes; it also implies a stylistic clean slate in which genre gestures and dialects are frowned upon, because "free music" is "first music." And yet "free" is its own school of genres as well, with traditions and rules of engagement. Zen Tarr falls between free modal jazz (without ever sounding jazzy) and the kind of textural jams often made by and for visual artists.

Speaking of...

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Holiday Marketplace @ Prattsville Art Center

Holiday Marketplace

Sat., Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-11:45 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. — DEC 9th: 10am - 4pm: Local Artisan Holiday Market 4pm - 8pm:...
Work:Shop Winter Market @ Wickham Solid Wood Studio

Work:Shop Winter Market

Sat., Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. — 20 artisans and a café, featuring museum-store quality, locally made gift items,...

View all of today's events

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch
  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch

    The Moonlights, a debut musical collaboration for families, is making the rounds at a series of live performances, including two of the upcoming Sunday Brunch at the Falcon in Marlboro.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by John Burdick

Hudson Valley Tweets