Monday, September 13, 2010

Album Review: Hard Boiled Wonderland

Vijay Anderson is an Oakland based drummer that has been a staple of the Bay Area new music and jazz scenes for the better part of 15 years. He continuously gigs, performing multiple shows a week for years on end. He often performs with legends like John Tchicai and Vinnie Golia, as well as his well worn posse of jazz cats that includes John Finkbinder and Darren Johnston. I have had the privilege of hearing him play numerous times- sounds ranging from all out improvised noise chaos (with the short-lived project Musical Genius with Lynn Johnston) to a set of tender and faithfully rendered jazz standards. After performing on countless albums as a side man, Anderson has just released his first album under his own name. The album is improvised; the instrumentation: drums, clarinet, sax, guitar, and vibraphone. The music is straight from the heart and is pretty damn far out. These guys aren’t afraid of any sound, any direction, any feeling: Drums rumble as horns squeak. Feedback reverberates through amped up souls. Spiraling lines march in circles of mania. Melodies form shapelessly and wander in to the realms of pure thought as sound. The record is Hard Boiled Wonderland. Buy it here.

A selection from the album:

March at the End of the World

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