Live review: Great Architect, Milestone, May 2, 2012

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Great Architect
The Milestone
May 2, 2012

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The Milestone had an odd vibe on Wednesday, May 2, as the bill was over-fueled with avant garde, slightly startling sounds. A brief set by Great Architect offered eardrum recovery after an opening band which produced electronic screeches that would have left a porpoise confused.

Great Architect set up in the bar room of the West Charlotte venue and offered a quiet, rattling set that soothed and enchanted the audience.

Great Architect creates their own flair within the abstract. It is baffling as to how they manage to choreograph their incredibly delicate and complex form of jazz. Each note they hit is in a series and time signature that only the other band members can truly keep track of. In fact, their set list holds a series of notations as to who is a duo and what notes lead their progressive flow so they can stay on point.

The audience, intrigued by the complexities, gathered in the front of the stage to examine the organized chaos. Great Architect's instrumentation is a style of its own, using clarinet, guitar, violin and sax to their full capacity. Alone, the sounds could be construed as abrasive but the combinations work well atop nontraditional beats brought in by the percussionist.

Great Architect makes the simple complex as the band creates a full-fledged musical storm. While all music means something in the grand scheme of things, trying to dissect Great Architects performance is more akin to explaining a Picasso painting. The expressiveness is too great to ignore or truly understand. Their instruments are taken to limits most would view as extreme while creating an eclectic and peaceful storm of melodies.

And, most importantly, it works. Just like a destructive situation can be viewed as beautiful, the odd and experimental notions of Great Architect are equally awe-inspiring. Although, at times, the music could be anxiety inducing, it is lovely in its own contemporary, forward-thinking homage to the past - true, pure, experimental jazz.

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