Thieke, Griener & Weber - Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

Jason Bivins, Signal To Noise

Ayler Records has recently been sneaking out some real gems as part of their download-only program. One such session is this fine (if oddly titled) trio featuring clarinetist and altoist Michael Thieke, bassist Christian Weber, and percussionist Michael Griener.

I'm accustomed to hearing Thieke in stripped-down, very spacious sessions (and usually without a drummer) so I was immediately pleased to hear him rev it up like Francois Houle or Frank Gratkowski.
As excitable as he can be here – shrieking and growling – he also has a patient way with tiny cell shapes, very Lacy-like (and his tone rules too).

It's a satisfying session, taking in materials like the gorgeous billowing tone layers on "East is West" to the bustling alto on the crashing "A Bullet for Joey." I love the texture of Weber and Griener, which comes across best on seriously abstract pieces like "Two Seconds" – deep resounding bass tones and delicate waterdrop percussion framing the ragged alto.

Nothing particularly new here, but it's very fine stuff.