Record #266: The Drift – Memory Drawings (2008)

memory drawings.pngHere’s the thing about post rock. As much as the term brings up images of heavily delayed guitars playing glacially paced riffs until they explode into bombast, that hardly accounts for every group under the term’s large umbrella.

In its infancy, post rock had its own sort of Great Schism; many groups looked to the wisdom of Pope Mogwai for guidance, while others followed the more jazz-influenced, cerebral experimentalism of Tortoise.

The Drift is one of those groups that rides the line between jazz influence and straight up playing jazz like it’s a warhorse. The melody is handled by the trumpet player as often as guitar or keyboard. The bassist plays the upright version of his instrument. The drummer seems to think he’s playing in an In A Silent Way tribute band. The guitarist alone holds firmly to post rock, reigning in the rest of the group with his heavily effected riffs.

Seemingly reductionist though my description may be, that doesn’t mean the band fails to deliver. On the contrary. Jazz and rock have traded ideas with eachother for decades. After all, Medeski Martin & Wood wouldn’t have a career without jazz fusion. And with its longer attention span and careful eye for details, post rock seems a better match for jazz than rock and roll. Memory Drawings benefits greatly from that marriage, creating a space where ambient guitars and post-bop rhythms mingle, realizing everything they have in common.

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