Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano – The Raw and the Cooked

Free jazz and noise improvisation collaborations are a bit of probability game.  You have that handful of players that you love dearly and follow closely.  Those players move and bend and explode in all of the ways you deem perfect to your tastes, and every once in a while, a couple of your favorites end up together, the planets align, and the slot’s reels end on three cherries.  Orcutt and Corsano are one of those lucky pairings.  And this guitar and drum duo deserves an altar, to which Hella and Pink & Brown pay their tithe.

The Raw and the Cooked captures the two players live from their tour last fall.  The album cover seems to address the question “Which came first, the egg or Colonel Sanders?” while the music itself seems to address a similar categorical conundrum: what is this and where does it belong and what are its limitations?  The duet come to this false dilemma headfirst and create sound that is more than itself and seemingly infinite.  Within the first explosion of the record, Orcutt’s guitar takes on the squeals of a saxophone that metamorphose into his signature jangly cacophony accompanied by his high-pitched mouth noises.  Corsano’s arms are in their usual hyperactive state, but in this context, his performance reaches an enormous and dynamic expanse, with tumbling clatters eventually reaching the intensity of a 50-car pileup.

The collaboration never tires, never pauses to search for a new idea or discover the direction it would like to take next.  It is an unending spring, rich and plentiful.  It’s all just so goddamn satisfying.  What more could be said?

-Jared Micah


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