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Caress of My Fist

Etudes in Violence

>Caress of My Fist is a collaboration of Michael Khoury (violin) and Fred Bergman (sax and flute). And many a times there is also a third musical companion present. Some tracks it Curtis Glatter (percussion) and other songs know a contribution of Chris Riggs (guitar). We get to listen to some jazz musicians who have earned their respect. Khoury already played with Faruq Z. Bey and has been a member of Graveyards and Mele. He has worked with Hans Buetow, Ben Hall, Leyya Tawill, Will Soderberg, Piotr Michalowski and Ryan Jewell. Fred has worked with many Motown acts and has been a teacher at the Art Center Music. And he also has played with some famous names in the business like for example again Faruq Z. Bey, Jack Wright to name just a few. The two musical companions Chris and Curtis also have an impressive list of cooperations behind their names. On this CD-R “Etudes in Violence” we get to listen to 8 experimental jazz tracks. Presented in a nice cardboard packaging these gentlemen teach us that violence can be sweet, serene and lovely. Titles like 'Sucker Punch', 'Knuckle Sandwich', 'Punched in the Stomach' and 'Black Eye' made me suspect that I was going to listen to a heavy load of noise, industrial or such genres, but the vision on violence of Caress of My Fist is way more pleasant. Sometimes cutting, sometimes painfully high, sometimes silencing, sometimes melodic, the “Etudes in Violence” is a sophisticated release of experimental jazz. And although this isn't my favorite genre, I can clearly hear that this release is made with skill and a lot of love. If all fights were as serenely fought as is presented on this disk, than the world would be a lot brighter. (Gothtronic)

>Etudes in Violence brings together eight tracks of edgy, sometimes grim & melancholy, sometimes violent improv that utilizes mainly violin, sax & flute with supporting roles from guitar and percussive elements. The first thing you’ll notice about the release is the great hexagon shaped red art card package that’s done up at the back with a series of spiral like interlocking strips. The eight tracks inside are mainly built between the sinister and melancholy breath of the flute which weaves out vague harmonic guide points, the violins brooding whine and jagged saws, with occasional rabid sax honks and sails, along with darts of guitar scuttles and avant picks and nice shifting percussive moments. All the tracks titles are named after various different types of punchers i.e.: kidney punch, black eye, punched in the stomach etc- with each having this nice balance between glum harmonics, twitching tension and sudden violence. A nice slice of improv which keeps you nicely on edge between grim contemplation, seed brooding and sudden outburst of violence. (Musique Machine)

>First off, the presentation here is impeccable - the professionally-produced CDR is housed in a stylish origami-style textured red paperboard, with informational insert. That said, the more important component here is the sound within, and it's fortunately as interesting as the packaging. CoMF is basically a duo consisting of violinist Mike Khoury and sax/flutist Fred Bergman - both veterans of the free music and avant scenes. Here, they collaborate with drummer Curtis Glatter and guitarist Chris Riggs on a series of improvisational vignettes that hint at both out-jazz and noir-ish soundtracks - all based around a fist-fight theme. Songs like 'Fat Lip' seem to allude to a dramatic sort of beat poetry (but minus the poetry) - evocative and haunting work. 'Knuckle Sandwich' is a brash and disorienting cut, with wild violin swipes and crazy sax bleating - a collision of chaos and invigorating unpredictability. 'Knocked The Wind Out Of Me' picks up the pieces - exactly as the title describes. 'Punched In The Stomach' (staying on topic, of course) feels the brunt of it (I can almost feel my ribs throbbing with pain), whereas tracks like 'Black Eye' seem to question what just happened - a state where the endorphins have kicked in. A superb, clever, and amusing musical approximation of a basic, old-school brawl! Nice work, and definitely a lot of fun to listen to - and certainly much better than the violent confrontation that it depicts. (Goatsden)

>Caress of my Fist is a project of Michael Khoury (violin) and Fred Bergman (sax and flute). In the eight improvisations on this CDR they are either assisted by by Curtis Glatter (percussion) or by Chris Riggs (guitar). Khoury I remember from some release on Public Eyesore, the others are new to me. Bergman worked with several Motown acts and many wedding bands, but also with the famous improvisor Jack Wright. Curtis Glatter is related to the Trummerflora Collective. Riggs is a very unconventional guitarplayer who plays with many improvisers but a deathmetal group as well. So many influences and experiences come together here. They meet here on a highly abstract level of improvised music. It sounds like chamber music. A friendly atmosphere prevails, although the title suggests something else. All four of them are advanced improvisers and players. They leave room for another and really listen. So great interplay and very communicative music is the result. Excellent, skillful work, except that it is very abstract music. For me this music works best when it is happening before my eyes, so that it is easier to become part of it. I,m a little dubious about releasing this music on CD. Also because there is so much improvised music around released on CD, etc. On the other hand, all this may be the case, but I did really enjoy listening to this one. So I hope this one will find its way to the lovers of improvised chamber music. (Vital)


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