Tuesday at Blue Whale: Dylan Ryan and Sand

Sky Bleached

Here’s a gig that’s flying under the radar.  Performing this Tuesday at Blue Whale is Chicago-born drummer and composer Dylan Ryan, and his trio Sand, which features fellow Los Angeles relative-newcomers Tim Young on guitar and bassist Devin Hoff.  Ryan has a new album out for the trio, entitled Sky Bleached (Cuneiform Records), a set of pieces that somehow manage to be open and exploratory in true free-jazz fashion, while establishing a gritty intensity more in line with, say Black Sabbath.  Much of this has to do with Young, an exceptional guitarist who sounds like Bill Frisell’s more puckish, rebellious brother.  Having spent many years playing with keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, who produced many albums for Frisell, Young has a similar mastery of sound and melody, but he also is not afraid to go ape-shit for stretches, reminiscent of one of Frisell’s colleagues, saxophonist John Zorn.  Bassist Hoff has spent time with another extreme LA guitarist, the incomparable Nels Cline, and is a welcome addition to the creative music scene here.  Ryan provides a compelling rhythmic subtext throughout, deftly blending groove and texture into his compositions.  The music should be enjoyable and maybe a bit uncomfortable, like a good Shiatsu massage or a few other things that come to mind… -Gary Fukushima

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