Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker ‘Little Common Twist’ LP
BEAR TREE RECORDS ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2019 #54
Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker are both known for their creativity and curious spirits. Rumback is a drummer in high demand in Chicago’s free-jazz circles and a pillar of the second wave of improvisers in a scene first shaped by the legendary players like Sun Ra and other members of the AACM. Walker draws deeply on other distinctly American styles, bringing a strong sense of folk tradition to his playing that is as arresting as his freewheeling performance style. Together, Rumback and Walker find common ground in their kinetic, intuitive playing and yearning creative outlook. ‘Little Common Twist’, their sophomore release as a duo, finds both players at their most adventurous. It compiles instrumental pieces that convey a striking range of emotions, at once introspective and expansive, with a delicate interplay that delights as they move with ease across a spectrum of styles.
The recording has a pastoral quality that recalls Van Morrison’s classic album ‘Veedon Fleece’ and captures a remarkably dexterous performance by both Charles and Ryley that make this album so expansive and fresh.
‘Little Common Twist’ was recorded over several sessions throughout 2017 and 2018 with producer John Hughes, capturing the duo playing in the moment with minimal overdubs. The guitar and drums duo eschewed each instrument’s traditional roles of rhythm and melody, experimenting with texture and rhythm. This album is the culmination of a creative partnership that has seen Rumback and Walker constantly challenging each other. In stretching the bounds of their interplay even further than before, the duo created their most evocative and expansive work to date, conjuring the afterglow of sun-scorched landscapes and LP pressed on virgin vinyl with full colour jacket and innersleeve packaged with a digital download card.
“Ryley Walker’s been dippin’ his toe back into instrumental guitar music and it’s a real dang treat to see both sides develop simultaneously. This quiet- yet-busy rambler with drummer Charles Rumback sounds like it could’ve appeared on ECM Records LP with rolling fields painted in pastels on the cover.” - NPR
“Judging by the killer single ‘Half Joking’ the instrumental album is sun- dappled and pastoral.” - Brooklyn Vegan
“Drummer Charles Rumback has cultivated his melodically-informed sensibility on a number of fine records.” - All About Jazz
“Walker’s visceral engagement with the music means that he transcends mere homage where Rumback flutters around the guitarist’s palpably blitzed virtuosity.” - Uncut
Catalogue number: THRILL497LP
Label: Thrill Jockey