Cadence


The review of Jazz & Blues: Creative MusicĀ 
Vol. 23, No. 1, January 1997

A glance at the picture that adorns the back of The CATLER BROS. CD, CRASH LANDING (FreeNote 2001), and one might mistake this package as a Stevie Ray Vaughan release. The Bros., Jon (fretless el g, Just Intonation el g) and Brad (fretless el b) in conjunction with drummers Jonathan Kane and Virgil Morehead (on *), have created a fascinating sound. There is a little note in the bottom right-hand comer of the back cover that reads "All songs composed and performed in 49 notes per octave just intonation tuning." The music sounds like a hybrid of Ornette's harmolodic theory, bebop, urban blues, and Jimi Hendrix (I know that sounds deeply strange - trust me). The ten cuts (Crash Landing/ Wood Pecker/ Minor Bird*/ Burning Monk's Waltz/ The Prowler/ Hyperspace/ Spiritual Brother/ Nothin'Left To You/ Coop/ Free - 45:29) are loaded with slurred guitar lines, swooping bass notes, and propulsive drumming. Jon Catler sounds as if he uses a slide to create the liquid notes but I'm not really sure. The title song has a part where the guitar and bass create a sound not unlike tolling bells. His rhythm work on "The Prowler" is filled with fast, choppy chords a la Hendrix. "Hyperspace" does bring the late Vaughan to mind, especially on the rhythm track. Brother Brad is a fine electric bassist, quite melodic as he moves through the registers (his high notes really sing while the low ones boom). Both drummers kick really hard - if you like your music loud, this disc is a wall-shaker. All the songs, with the exception of Ornette Coleman's "Free" that closes the disc, were written by Jon. I really enjoy the energy of this material and the spirit of puffing their concept right in the face of the listener (through the use of extreme volume). Looking for fusion that really is a step above the usual "crank and wank," CRASH LANDING should satisfy inquisitive and adventurous minds.

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