A release from 2000 when I was still playing trombone.
Scot Ray - trombone, reed-trombone, compositions
Andrew Barbera - electric guitar and effects
David Shaffer - drums and percussion
released October 2, 2000
"A mighty little band indeed, as the musicians whirl through recurring themes that take on chameleon like qualities as the hue and tonalities transgress through various progressions and motifs. On the composition “Architecture I”, Barbera employs some electrified fuzz-toned guitar lines atop solid backbeats and airy unison runs between Ray and Shaffer, as Ray also works the bottom end with his trombone; whereas, the multitasking efforts reap huge dividends throughout.
The musicians artfully meld hard-core rock beats and complex time signatures with sonorous passages and brazen soloing yet through it all, the band regenerates a previously established theme into bright choruses, capricious escapades and ethereal dreamscapes. Andrew Barbera’s bluesy electric slide guitar work on “Plates” offers yet another abstract perspective to the proceedings as he insinuates the melody amid Ray’s fervent harmonies and cunning execution of counterpoint. Simply stated, Small Architecture is a splendid surprise and a thoroughly entertaining one at that! Highly recommended!" - All About Jazz, Glenn Astarita 10/2000
Scot Ray composed all tracks on this CD, with the exception of "Gut," which was composed by the entire group. "Gut" happens to be the opener for this CD and is quite a journey; turning and twisting to an unknown place. Things take a funkier turn with "Architecture 1." The irony is I would expect "Gut" to have the qualities of "Architecture" and vice-versa, based on title alone. However, as the track progresses, another musical journey into twilight begins. There are some really stellar and tender melodies by Ray and some really interesting guitar work when Andrew Barbera steps up.
"Schematic," has the consistent intellectual quality of the other tracks, but burns a little more rapidly. Ray seems to take tracks and give them a variety of moods and segments, in the same way many classical pieces are performed. There are elements of jazz and rock, giving it an "alternative" edge. David Shaffer calls the listener’s attention at the marked changes of mood and delivers a variety of drum textures. "Nebo" is like an opening to a new-style horror movie, as it is extremely mysterious.... .perhaps it’s true of the entire CD to different degrees. Barbera kicks another cool guitar groove that pulls Ray and Shaffer together like glue.
Ray does some "eclectic" trombone work in "Architecture II," but "Tumbleweed" is suitable for being out in the middle of a desert or nowhere. There’s an almost hallucinatory tone to the track, which also serves as a finale to the entire CD.
If you like to intellectualize and dig mystery in your music, this is the CD for you. Scot Ray has a wide range of recorded and performance history. I’m no authority on his music, but there’s a lot to hear in "Small Architecture." The track titles are simply introductions to the mystery that’s well worth checking out. - Lee Prosser, Jazzreview, 11.2000
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