At the Center

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David Jeffries
Jazz composer/arranger/theorist George Russell used to explain his piece "Dimensions" as "a sequence of freely associated moods indigenous to jazz." Same could be said about At the Center but this time the person doing the free associating doesn't come from the world of jazz, at least not as far as his previous records have let on. As Meat Beat Manifesto, Jack Dangers has been responsible for some of the most in-your-face dance music available, recorded for the seminal industrial dance label Wax Trax, and paved the road for the garish sound of big beat. Dangers doesn't have the downtown pedigree that made DJ Spooky such a shoo-in for Thirsty Ear's Blue Series, but as At ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David Jeffries
Jazz composer/arranger/theorist George Russell used to explain his piece "Dimensions" as "a sequence of freely associated moods indigenous to jazz." Same could be said about At the Center but this time the person doing the free associating doesn't come from the world of jazz, at least not as far as his previous records have let on. As Meat Beat Manifesto, Jack Dangers has been responsible for some of the most in-your-face dance music available, recorded for the seminal industrial dance label Wax Trax, and paved the road for the garish sound of big beat. Dangers doesn't have the downtown pedigree that made DJ Spooky such a shoo-in for Thirsty Ear's Blue Series, but as At the Center displays, he's up to the series' "pushing the jazz envelope" challenge. Hearing jazzers Peter Gordon flute, Dave King drums, and Craig Taborn keyboards of all types interact with Dangers' soundtracky and experimental constructions stops just short of being compelling, but it's refreshing that no one is reduced to being a session musician. On "United Nations Etc. Etc.," Gordon finds plenty of inspiration in Dangers' groove, and Taborn is always contributing, adding funky fills, fluid improvs, and stabbing soul-jazz. Dangers himself proves to be a serviceable bass flute and bass clarinet player, but it's with the "everything else" that he's credited with that he really shines. Besides laying down some trippy soundscapes, he provides both snippets and lengthy tapes of dialog that give the improvisers something that's more tangible and narrative than what they're used to, and that's the record's big draw. Hearing Gordon, King, and Taborn respond to quirky readings of freaky classifieds on "Want Ads One" is an eye-opening experience. The band just shuffles underneath the taped voice, until the pitifulness of all this desperation works them into a more brittle and punchy workout. Jazz musicians versus the mundane world could be what Dangers is getting at, and it works. A couple entirely abstract numbers are less satisfying but serve a purpose by fleshing the album out nicely.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2005
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • UPC: 700435715929
  • Catalog Number: 57159
  • Sales rank: 257,161

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wild (5:18)
  2. 2 Flute Thang (4:47)
  3. 3 Murita Cycles (4:13)
  4. 4 Want Ads One (4:27)
  5. 5 Blind (5:16)
  6. 6 Musica Classica (3:34)
  7. 7 Bohemian Grove (5:20)
  8. 8 United Nations Etc. Etc. (3:57)
  9. 9 Want Ads Two (4:25)
  10. 10 The Water Margin (6:34)
  11. 11 Shotgun! (4:59)
  12. 12 Granulation 1 (3:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Meat Beat Manifesto Primary Artist
Kenneth Rexroth Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Jack Dangers Bass, Bass Clarinet, Bass Flute, Various
Craig Taborn Piano, Hammond Organ, Clavinet, fender rhodes, Piano (Grand), Hammond B3
Dave King Percussion, Drums
Peter Gordon Flute
Technical Credits
Henry Jacobs Engineer
Jack Dangers Composer, Producer, Engineer, Contributor, Audio Production
Peter Wright Management
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