Jack Vees
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Surf Music Again
: The Restaurant Behind The Pier , 6/10

Jack Vees is a New Jersey-born bassist who played in Forever Einstein from 1996 till 2001. He studied with Morton Subotnick, has founded his own ensemble (Chez Vees), has composed several avantgarde works and teaches music at Yale University.

His solo album Surf Music Again (CRI) is a post-modernist tribute to the Sixties, and more to Jimi Hendrix (particularly the solo bass piece, Surf Music Again) than to surf rockers. Rocket Baby, Piano Trio (actually for three pianists on two pianos) and Tattooed Barbie (for guitar, oboe and drum-box) are the most significant pieces on the album, each one a different exposition of a minimalist technique that has its roots in Morton Subotnick's and John Cage's theories while opening them up to the very agitated dynamics of popular music.

The Restaurant Behind The Pier (Cuneiform, 2000) is a mixed bag. Vees wastes a bit of his talent in three pointless covers, but then also displays his sophisticated compositional technique in The Restaurant Behind The Pier and unleashes an Hendrix-ian bedlam of super-human, frantic glissandos in John Henry. Surf Music II is the massive tour de force of the album, a field of floating harmonics that bridges Ligeti, Gordon Mumma and Brian Eno.

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