When two consummate musicians get together, the end result can either be disaster or triumph. Luckily for those of us who hear the latest album Little Common Twist by Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker, the overall sound is the latter. Rumback, a well known drummer in free jazz circles around Chicago & Walker, a touring singer songwriter with a sharp wit; together they create a sound that’s like no one else. Almost like ambient jazz folk mixed with experimental nuance, the entire release is a stunning reminder of the good that can come from the collaborative process.
The stage is set with the tender notes of “Half Joking” where the two artists create a sound that falls perfectly on the ears. The folk touched notes that dance with the drums offer a soft grace that you can’t deny. With the freeing sound of the following track “Self Blind Sun,’ the more experimental side of these two comes out in bold print. The two stronger sides of the release come through in these first two tracks. But with that, it’s not all black and white here either.
“And You, These Sang” has a very calming effect on the listener. The emboldened guitar tones and the brush stroked drums give way to a more elegant sound. The washed notes between give you a more ambient sense as well. “Ill-Fitting/No Sickness” grasps a more Southern charm with the finger picked guitar and the meandering pace. The song’s sound will give you a mesmerized experience that you may not be used to. The additional percussion will keep you there until the song ends. The same can be said of the following track “If You’re Around And Down,” in that it can bring you to a calm place that most music can’t deliver. The whole album is a stark reminder of both artist’s strong suits. The ability to make us forget whatever we were focused on and just live in the moment they create together, a feat few can achieve yet Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker do so with ease.
The album is available for physical purchase directly from Thrill Jockey. It’s also available to stream on all streaming sites or to purchase from all digital store fronts. Charles Rumback will be performing in Akron, OH at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with John Tate and Tony Malaby on February 25. Ryley Walker is on tour starting January 29 in Helsinki, Finland at G Livelab until May 02 in Birmingham, AL at Back Forty. His complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Nick LaRoche.