Andrew McIntosh - Little Jimmy [Kairos Music - 2022]
Little Jimmy is a modern composition-focused release that features elements of clunking-to-felt piano, percussion, sine tones and woodland field recordings. It’s a release that very much shifts between jarring and edgy, and meditative and slightly uneasy.
The CD release appears on Austria’s Kairos- with the disc being presented in the labels house style digipak- this features a thirty-page stuck on a glossy booklet on its inside, featuring English and German texts, pictures of the composer/ players, and photos of where the field recordings where captured.
Andrew McIntosh is a California-based composer and violinist who has been releasing his own work since the early 2010s. His sonic interests take in historical performance practice, improvisation, microtonal tuning systems, long-form works, and the 20th-century avant-garde in general.
The CD features three pieces/ eight tracks with these date from between the years 2019 and 2021. The release opens with the wonderfully entitled “I have a lot to learn” this is for solo paino, and the just under five-minute track seesaws between clunking ‘n’ crude and felt 'n' moody. All making for a great unbalancing opener.
Next, we have just over thirteen minutes of “Leaning” here we find hazy, at times tensely hovering blend of vibe-bound percussion, woodland field recordings, and lightly simmering sine tones. The whole piece has a rather odd dream-like quality to it, which is both (sort of) soothing, yet a little uneasy too- much like if you are out for a sunshine-licked woodland walk on your own, and from time to time you get the feeling you are been watched.
Finally, we have "Little Jimmy"- this six-track piece is for two pianos and two percussionists, and runs just over twenty-three minutes. The piece shifts from jingling and clunking evenness, onto drifting to lightly seared haziness which is edged with moments of bird song field recordings, and sudden darting/ nervy jangling key/percussive runs.
On Little Jimmy McIntosh use of sonic elements is both hazed and emotional, but also jarring. And it's this yin/yang that makes the whole thing so engaging and rewarding. I, believe, this is my first taster of Mr McIntosh work- but it certainly won’t be my last!.Roger Batty