Cover of vinyl record SMALL MEDIUM LARGE by artist SML



€ 34,95

SML is the quintet of bassist Anna Butterss, synthesist Jeremiah Chiu, saxophonist Josh Johnson, percussionist Booker Stardrum, and guitarist Gregory Uhlmann.

Their debut album 'Small Medium Large' began as a collection of long form improvisations recorded during two separate two-night stands at beloved Highland Park, Los Angeles venue ETA. Unfortunately, this major development site for the burgeoning new West Coast jazz & improvised music sound closed its doors permanently at the end of 2023.

The venue, perhaps best known outside of LA for Jeff Parker's 2022 album 'Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy', was the perfect location for the start of SML, especially given that both bassist Anna Butterss and saxophonist Josh Johnson are part of Parker's quartet that held down a regular gig at ETA since the venue's early days (and hence thoroughly documented, heard on Parker's album). 'Small Medium Large' was engineered and recorded in stereo direct to Nagra by Bryce Gonzales and compiled, arranged, and edited with additional production, recording, and studio composition by SML across their various home studios.

While editing, chopping, and rearranging stereo mixed improvisations is hardly a new idea (for a modern and relevant example we can look to Makaya McCraven's output on IARC) these results are a stunning expansion of the Teo Macero / Miles Davis editing concept explored on classics like 'In a Silent Way', 'On The Corner', and 'Get Up With It'. Stylistically though, these recordings have more in common with the proto-trance repetitions of Harmonia, and with Holgar Czukay's re-assembly technique used in his work with Can. Throw in a supremely intuitive utilization of polyrhythmic floating patterns (a la Susumu Yokota), and the result is a truly innovative take on time-clocked electronic rhythms augmented with live instrumentation that never loses that elusive human sway.

'Small Medium Large' is a sublime assemblage of circulatory grooves and textural anomalies, at different moments recalling the synth-laced improvisations of Herbie Hancock's Sextant, the jagged dance punk of Essential Logic, the rhythmic revelry of Fela Kuti, the low-end elasticity of Parliament/Funkadelic, or the glitchy dub techno of Pole. Taken in totality, the album captures a euphoric creative synchronicity between some of today's most exciting musicians. 

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