It’s fairly understandable that the twain of noise rock and free jazz would find a way to meet, even if the spiritual/secular axes might be strange cohabitants — concern with cathartic pure sound and voluminous protest, coupled with allover rhythm, present a shared freedom-from, even if the freedom-for is less easily defined. Philly guitarist Nick Millevoi (Many Arms) and Ohio guitarist/bassist Ed Ricart (Matta Gawa, Hyrokkin) have their ears tuned to a variety of heavy forms, though their separate output differs heavily, with Ricart’s following a more outwardly spiritual path. Haitian Railroad is their first collaboration on wax, due out in July as a split release (LP/CS) between Gaffer and New Atlantis, and finds them joined by the metallic, paint-peeling saxophone playing of Travis Laplante (Little Women) and the acrobatic chug of drummer Ches Smith.
“Linive” marries knotty progressive tendencies and improvised clatter in a pretty remarkable way, Ricart’s frenetic fuzz a wild foil for Millevoi’s studied flintiness. It would be fair to say that they feed one another to the point that each musician enters an area they might skirt independently; the partnering of Ricart and Smith is also grounds for a powerful, controlled abandon within the rhythm section. Laplante emerges with a throaty wail at the halfway point, curiously opening up the ensemble to spare, incisive, and resonant exploration, at which point Smith takes the reins unaccompanied before the ensemble returns for a monolithic charge of seething sound. If “Linive” is any indication, the Millevoi-Ricart Quartet is about to drop a wonderfully unhinged stew of avant-garde jazz rock on an unsuspecting public.