Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures – Glare of the Tiger
(Meta 020. CD Review by John L. Walters)
Glare of the Tiger by Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures is not a contemporary sounding album, nor is it as old-fashioned as its dreadful cover design might suggest. There is something about this collection of loose-limbed groove-based jams, sometimes urgent (Ecstaticized), at other times relaxed (Rotations), that is wonderfully liberating when set alongside more anxious, angsty bands.
Ralph M. Jones’s soprano sax wails thrillingly on Ecstaticized, leading into Graham Haynes’s exultant cornet on a tune that wheels easily between theme statements, solos and collective blowing. Drummer-leader Rudolph stirs up an edgy rhythm section that can churn like Miles’s 1970s bands when required; there are two more drummers – James Hurt and Hamid Drake – plus electric bass, the hard-working Damon Banks, guitar (Kenny Wessel) and keyboards (Alexis Marcello). Drummer Hurt also contributes electric piano, sound design and ‘smart phone synthesizer module’.
Four short (20- to 40-second) interludes help give the album a bit of structure; Interlude One, dominated by Jones’s flute is particularly beautiful. Most of the nine remaining tracks stay on one mode and groove for their duration, building a head of steam. However there isn’t always enough energy and invention to justify more than six minutes minutes or so. At nearly 14 minutes long, the 5/4 title track Glare of the Tiger is overly (and overtly) like electric Miles, and the worst offender.
Of the other tracks, Dialogics is reminiscent of early jazz and electronics experiments (İlhan Mimaroğlu, Keith Winter); Ciresque combines walking bass with space-jazz boogaloo; and Lehra channels Terry Riley. Wonderings stays noodling on a spacey two-note pivot for nine and a half long minutes before erupting into a splashy 12/8 over which Haynes solos eloquently for the final three. The playing is of a high standard throughout; at its best, this is an album that can make you smile with the sensual pleasure of good music.