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Crash the Car Daddy by Pieces of Brain

Pieces of Brain is a free-jazz trio from Poland consisting of guitarist/saxophonist Jon Dobie, bassist Staweck Janicki and drummer Jacek Majewski. One of them, my money says it's Dobie, also seems to be playing a digeridoo on "Up Into the Black Sky," but the notes are not helpful in this matter. The guitar driven tracks tend to be aggressive and the saxophone based ones more open, but there are exceptions each way.

The CD opens with the furious title track, Dobie playing guitar. I could cite Last Exit-era Sonny Sharrock as an antecedent, but his playing lacks the melodic relief that Sharrock provided. A closer comparison would be with the violin playing of Ornette Coleman. The second track is my favorite. Appropriately named "Ayler's Song," it proceeds very much like an Albert Ayler composition, full of heroic, folkloric crescendos. Dobie, here on tenor, throws in a nice quote of Handel near the end.

The middle third of this CD meanders a bit too much for my taste, the music lacking the sense of urgency initially established. But it picks up again at the end--"Coffin and the Grave Digger" is reminiscent of Streams-era Sam Rivers, Majewski seeming to channel the early '70's playing of Cecil McBee. The set closing "zzaJ" is effective, a guitar trio recording played backwards as the title would suggest. Overall, this is a fun listen. Fans of Eastern European free playing should particularly enjoy it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Pieces of Brain
  • CD Title: Crash the Car Daddy
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Mozg Production
  • Rating: Three Stars
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