Survival Unit III Straylight (Live at Jazzhouse Copenhagen)

Survival Unit III
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Astral Spirits Batch #18 Jerman • Barnes Birchall / Smal / Webster More Eaze / A.F. Jones & Steve Flato Monas

We are proud to present another chapter from the powerhouse known as Survival Unit III…Joe McPhee, Fred Lonberg-Holm & Michael Zerang have been playing together as SUIII for well over 2 decades now and continue to refine and expand their horizons.

Straylight is light in an optical system, which was not intended in the design. The light may be from the intended source, but follow paths other than intended, or it may be from a source other than the intended source. This light will often set a working limit on the dynamic range of the system; it limits the signal-to-noise ratio or contrast ratio, by limiting how dark the system can be.

This definition of Straylight applies here due to a slight mixup during production. You may find similarities with another SUIII release called “Straylight” on Zerang’s own Pink Palace Records, which was recorded 9 months after this tape. Turns out that with both releases in production at the same time there was an accidental mixup and the same titles were sent for both of these releases. However in the beautiful words of Joe McPhee himself:

“It looks like in the fog of war, signals got crossed. I think honesty is the best policy here. In our fly by the seat of your pants world, sometimes our balls hang out. As Cecil Taylor’s solo Hat Hut recording proclaims, “IT IS IN THE BREWING LUMINOUS.” The music will tell the story, making the whole project all the more a collector’s item.”

Indeed we certainly believe this to be true. And from the definition of Straylight itself although this may not have been the intended final design, don’t be afraid to follow each Straylight to it’s end…the reality of each release is in the ear of the beholder, unique to each person that hears it.

Survival Unit III’s “Straylight (Live at Jazzhouse Copenhagen)” is out November 13, 2015 in an edition of 150 tapes with digital download.

Review by Martin Schray for FREEJAZZBLOG.