The album For the Painters… by Collin Thomas is comprised of portraits in sound. The one named for Jean-Michel Basquiat is sqwonky and noisy, and gives to sudden jarring interjections. The Mark Rothko is built from long singular swaths with a discordant undercurrent. The Francis Bacon is eerie yet grounded in the familiar (here a jazzy drum set). Perhaps the most literal of the batch, the Henri Rousseau piece contains tribal drums and buzzing insects. To promote the album, Thomas has made available for free download two of the tracks, one of which is an especially pristine example of what he calls “ambient free-jazz” (MP3). Dedicated to Alexander Ross (with whom I am not familiar — I’m assuming he doesn’t mean Alex Ross, the grand comic-book illustrator), it is a purposefully thin sliver of jazz elements — little bits of instrumental play — that are heard through an ever-shifting cycle of light electronic mediation, small changes and processes that alter the sound ever so slightly; thus, little rewinds or crannies of rupture interrupt the rhythmic flow and contribute a gentle chaos to the melodic development.
More on Thomas and For the Painters… at collinthomas.net.