This self produced and self published CD adds the +2 to it's group name (normally just WD-41) to bring in 2 guest musicians Dino J.A. Deane ( multi instruments with folks like Jon Hassell and John Zorn) and drummer Scott Amendola ( check out his work with Niels Cline). This proves to be a great combination to say the least. These four artists allow the original duo of Willie Oteri (guitars/Live Loops) and Dave Laczko (Trumpet/Effects) to expand and really sail off into the spacious cosmos open psychedelic jazz fusion that has similarities of Jon Hassell ( although a lot more aggressive and certainly more guitar oriented ) due to Kaczko's breathy and orbital trumpet playing and effects, and Steve Tibbetts as it has a beautiful mix of exotic percussion and guitar in that wandering in the clouds atmosphere throughout.
I hesitate to state that this music is all improvised due to the immediate reaction from many people that will assume this is some chaotic made up as you go stewpot, but let me have your attention on this next sentence. This is truly NOT one of those out of control diddling and making noise kind of recordings. I was really surprised this was improv, but now I can see their talents coming together and making this extremely listenable recording. In fact, it sounds as composed as any Jon Hassell release. To give some quick background on WD-41, from Texas, Willie Oteri has worked with greats like Mike Keneally, Tony Levin, and Jerry Marotta ( just to name a few familiar giants in the progressive world) and Austin trumpeter Dave Laczko has been a DJ on station KAZI for 13 years anchoring weeknight jazz programming. He has played with many jazz bands such as The Fearless Jazz Duo with trumpeter/Prime Swing pianist Mel Winters. The two mainstays of WD-41 do indeed have a fine chemistry together.
The music itself, just carries the listener off and allows you to feel a part of the landscape they paint with each song. It's about a 70/30 mix of calm exotic dark jazz ( I hear some definite Terje Rypdal influence) and at the right moments, the more aggressive avant-garde jam jazz rises up. No question this could be signed onto the ECM label. I think they'd be welcomed there. It seems they are doing fine though on their own. Their debut CD got voted number 24 in the Top 50 best Jazz CD's of 2009 by jazz publication All About Jazz. I think this release will reach an even higher ranking. It's even more developed and dense with very multi-layered pieces of music. I still have a hard time calling it improvised, but all the artists are proud that it is indeed what it is. As a musician myself for 42 years, I am impressed.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on August 31st, 2010