Sun Speak – Sacred Rubble (2015)

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Guitarist Matt Gold and drummer Nate Friedman, collectively known as Sun Speak, display a telepathic relationship on their sophomore release Sacred Rubble. The pair, recent subjects of a Something Else! Sitdown, continue with a no-compromise approach to jazz first displayed on their debut record, 2014’s Light Blue Light. They also continue to display a jazz acumen well beyond their years.

Sacred Rubble starts with an angular electric guitar passage by Gold, but is quickly followed by frenzied drumming from Friedman and a blast of tenor saxophone by guest soloist Ben Schmidt-Swartz. Schmidt-Swartz’s tenor is in harmony with a mutitracked guitar parts of Gold, then takes off in a flight of fantasy recalling the best improvised solos. The shifts in dynamics on “Solar Beast” really get the blood stirring, and set an optimistic tone for this EP of free-flowing gems.

Chicago-based recording engineer Charles Glanders does a suburb job of capturing the dynamics shifts and energy of the Sun Speak. “Fog” evokes an early fall Chicago morning, as Friedman’s driving backbeat sets a tone which is underscored by Gold’s intricate guitar styling. The songs from Sacred Rubble, with the exception of “Juna.” were composed by Matt Gold, but they were developed and arrange by the duo while woodshedding in New Hampshire. The duo’s ground work is evident. “Egg” is pleasantly oblique, while “Unalaska” is focused and forceful.

Sacred Rubble shows not only what master musicians Matt Gold and Nate Friedman are, but hints at the potential Sun Speak has merely touched on. This EP is a must-listen for fans of improvised instrumental jazz. Hopefully a new full length album from Sun Speak — who are currently on tour in the Midwest — is in the works.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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