♫♪  Jeff Snyder and Federico Ughi - Duo

The idea of a free jazz record utilizing the building blocks of analog synthesizer and drums might sound slightly oxymoronic at first — don’t analog synthesizers have so many cords that you have to set up and plug in first? And don’t they get more tangled than my 50-foot outdoor extension cord does when I’m trimming the bushes? Analog synthesizer — the least spontaneous instrument I can think of besides the tuba. (Drums are OK — you can do pretty much anything with drums.)

But before you start adding a tuba section to all your jazz ensembles, check out Jeff Snyder’s take on the analog synthesizer as improvisational element. Together with drummer Federico Ughi, the Duo (see what I did there?) transforms the confines of a studio into a sprawling playground in which each can indulge his every whim, whether its splattering the walls with audio viscera or smearing them with slower, more restrained audio viscera. Ughi’s kit is the monkey bars. Snyder’s rig is the swing set. Maybe the slide.

Although Duo (Carrier Records) marks the duo’s (get it now?) debut release together, the record is actually the fruit of 10 years of collaboration. So I’m not kidding when I say the interplay is as psychic as a DOUBLE SPOCK MIND MELD. Think about that and all that entails — two Spocks, each with his hand strategically placed on the other’s head, sharing experiences and moments, proceeding forward as one. Now imagine both Spocks doing that while swinging in unison, or hanging upside down by their feet in unison.

Or playing analog synthesizer and drums in unison.


Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read