Rick Cox is a California-based clarinetist and guitarist.
He cut his teeth in the late 1970s within the scene of the jazz-improvisors,
specializing in lengthy clarinet solos. Switching to the guitar, Cox
became one of the early practitioners of ambient music, as documented by the EP
These Things Stop Breathing (1983) for prepared electric guitar and clarinet.
His career was not prolific at all. After
When April May (Raptoria Caam, 1990) for clarinet and string quartet,
he mostly worked for film soundtracks.
Unreleased compositions of the 1990s were collected on Maria Falling Away (Cold Blue Music).
The EP Fade (Cold Blue Music, 2005) contains only one 25-minute track, performed by Cox on electric guitar,
Thomas Newman on piano and Peter Freeman on bass.
The trio uses the ever more popular strategy of creating ambient music via
tone exploration. The instruments improvise around each other's sustained
dreamy tones, patiently weaving a labyrinthine celestial atmosphere.
Shadows of melodies appear and disappear. Rhythm is non-existent.
Subsonic events are as important as louder ones. Improvisation prevails over
composition. This is austere zen-like meditation whose only constraints are
some natural laws of note gravitation.
The guitar and the bass are more
serious about drawing nebulae of sounds together, while the piano emits
tinkling passages of notes that hint at a looser world of music.
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