Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant

One Eyed Jack's

October 03, 2004

Would it be possible to eliminate musical boundaries? If you were a musician who moved freely between metal, jazz, klezmer, and world music, would the categorically happy music press be the only thing stopping you from being label-free? Or have these labels and subsequent personality-based stereotypes(jazz guys are courteous, metal guys are crude) been ingrained in us from day one? Are they something to be chipped away at? Whatever the answer, bassist Trevor Dunn and his Trio Convulsant moved freely and chipped away Sunday night at One Eyed Jacks. The man deserved no labels, but I have to give his music one. His trio played experimental metal full of silence gaps and jarring movements from meandering jazz into driving rock. It wasnít so jarring when the band went from a hyperkinetic jazz freak-out into the rock, though. They went off on free jazz excursions punctuated by guitar notes flying from up and down the fret-board and metal pans driven off the top of a drum by the drummerís strike. These guys were out there, but they must have been counting time to know when to come back into the rock parts, right? I saw the guitarist and Dunn countdown with their fingers before moving into a different movement, but mostly, it was a free-for-all. And, it was fun. The rock crowd waited anxiously for the rock, but the jazz was good, as well. Still, there was a definite rock energy associated with the music. The drummer looked like he continually was on the edge of a (19th) nervous breakdown. He threw sticks, pans and flailed through disjunctive drumming that arose from different meters. Iím proud of the crowd. They were open-minded, and they actually clapped a lot. Man, who was the girl in the crowd who kept calling Dunnís upright bass a cello? That was funny.

Dunn is best known for his compositions for Mr. Bungle and his work with Fantomas. If you want to see something genre-defying, go to a Mr. Bungle show. Dunn has a background in punk and death metal, but he performs contemporary classical, blues and jazz music. Dunn is from San Francisco, where he works with the cityís best improvisers and musicians, according to Go see anything with his name around or on it. Itíll probably broaden your horizons.

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