In the world of scientific laboratories, an experiment is defined as “a procedure carried out to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis.” Experiments provide insight into cause and effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. However, in music the word experimentation ought not to exist, as no scientifically repeatable procedure can be used to support, refute, or validate its hypotheses.
The music of the Brodie West Quintet validates its constructs with magic and mystery, both becoming the quintessence of their improvisational musical world. Truth be told, when it comes to West and his music – particularly on Clips – mystery and magic all collide in one unscientifically glorious big bang, producing art that always defies and blurs any categories. The alto saxophonist continues to destroy the proverbial artificial walls erected in music.
Goal and scale are tossed into the unknown with the wickedly intense scope of the music on Clips. The fractured rhythms of the radiantly irreverent Prel and Fug are an exemplary experience of the sparkling wit and ingenuity of West’s yammering melodic and harmonic conceptions. The saxophonist also draws into this musical web pianist Tania Gill, bassist Josh Cole and the drummers Nick Fraser and Evan Cartwright. Together they penetrate West’s riddle-filled music at a deeper level, creating art that’s radically fresh and intuitive, and plucked as if from ether.