I Really Do Not See the Signal
From Michael Caratti's review on the All About Jazz website: 'I Really Do Not See The Signal is the second Rob Price Quartet record, following At Sunset (Gutbrain, 2004), which featured Ellery Eskelin, Trevor Dunn and Joey Baron. This recording, with Jim Black replacing Baron on drums, is both more aggressive and adventurous in it's approach. 'Each piece on the album was written specifically for these musicians, who bring intensity and ingenuity to the recording. Price's understated and tasteful guitar work provides his band the space to explore all textural and dynamic extremes. Eskelin is inspiring, exquisite in tone and fearless in range, while ex-Mr Bungle bass man Dunn and downtown New York City drum hero Black offer unending drive. 'The scope of Price's compositions is enlightening. Exploring elements of hardcore rock and explosive free jazz, the album presents a series of ideas which flow seamlessly into one another, leaving one in anticipation of where the music will go next. The opening title track sets the pace, centered around a spikey guitar motif, with Black and Dunn creating an unnerving false start through off-beat syncopation, before launching into a heavy as you like bass and drum brew, over which Eskelin spews out long, contorted lines. 'Edgy ballads like 'Dashiell Hammett & Barbara Pym' sit in glorious resistance against the brutal force of 'Chambara.' The disjointed 'Girasol' and bop-inspired 'Mango' are also highlights. Truly representative of the downtown New York sound, this record is essential listening for anyone into music with balls.' Cadence Magazine's reviewer Jason Bivins wrote: 'I'd heard good things about Price's previous work but this disc is my first encounter with his music. He's not the most ostentatious player, which tends to serve his music well. It also gives plenty of room to his high energy band, for Eskelin's always-inventive expressions and the bustling vigor of Dunn and Black, both supple and muscular. Price, to put it somewhat simply, rocks out quite a bit, with a heavy use of distortion and a predilection for walls of sound and repeating licks. He's got more in his bag, though, and he's also a canny enough player for this not to overwhelm the music - indeed, he uses the distorted tones resourcefully to generate lots of texture ('Dashiell Hammett & Barbara Pym') and some nice fractured rhythms ('Girasol' and the bouncing 'Modern Mongoose'). Eskelin sounds inspired throughout, responding to Price's dense figures with some straight-up wailing, goosed along by Black and Dunn too. If you like high-intensity improv - with a dash of space rock, some occasional balladry, and a backbone of funk - you'll enjoy this disc.'