Does it make sense to refer to "traditional avant-garde?" Are not those terms contradictory? Well, we live in the contradictory world and Spatial Awareness by EFT is a traditional, avant-garde jazz album.
Guitarist Ido Bukelman conjures up images of Jimi Hendrix, bringing a distorted, shredding, hard rock quality to the jazz ensemble. Unlike many younger guitarists, Bukelman doesn't mess around with digital processing. It's just his bluesy guitar licks, his over-driven amp, and sheer fire.
Similarly, drummer Ofer Bymel keeps to the core of free jazz drumming. He occasionally plays sensitive textures but mostly it's a tidal wave of virtuosic percussion. Sometimes he contains the massive energy within a discernable groove, but often it explodes into thick sheets of sound.
The third member of EFT pulls the music into the 21st century. Daniel Davidovsky is listed simply as playing electronics and seems to have a wide arsenal of tools at his disposal. At times it is difficult to identify Dvidovsky within the sheer volume of the ensemble; unlike many electronic artists, his presence is subtle and somewhat reserved. He carefully finds his place in the gaps of the music, adding digital-age glitches, static, and synth bass sounds to the frenzy.
With Spatial Awareness, EFT brings old-school free jazz into the modern age. The effect is both familiar and new, both inviting and challenging. As the album plays, it is not hard to imagine Sonny Sharrock and Elvin Jones looking down from Heaven, or perhaps up from Hades, and smiling.
Comments and Feedback: