Protuberance | Treated and Released | Zerx Records 019

zerx 019

Paul Pulaski – guitar  | Mark Weaver – tuba | Dave Wayne – drums

Recorded March 1 and 21, 1999 at KUNM-FM Studio A, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Engineered and mastered by J. Quincy Adams. Cover art by Scott Virtue

Tracklist: 1 . POCKET (Weaver) (4:00) 2. SELVAGE (Weaver) (4:55) 3. SOON ENOUGH (Weaver) (4:38) 4. SEVEN ENCHILADAS (Weaver) (4:21) 5. PUMPKIN PIE (Weaver) (arr. Wayne) (8:51) 6. DEFLECTIONS (Weaver) ( 4:14) 7. TEE VEE (Weaver) / T .W. (Wayne) dedicated to Tony Williams (5:08) 8. MOVIE (Weaver) (3:07) 9. WONAMOW (Pulaski) (4:34) 10. BROWN BLUE (Weaver) (4:04) 11. ADHESIVE COLORS (Weaver) (3:20) 12. BEHIND YOUR FACE (Weaver) (4:37) 13. LAND SHARK (Weaver) (2:50)

We would like to express our gratitude to Quincy Adams, David Parlato, Tom Guralnick, KUNM-EM, Ethan Stein, and especially Mark Weber.

There is 20,000 years

of separation between the tuba and the electric guitar. The tuba evolved out of forested mountain valleys. The electric guitar came screaming off a freeway in the America of the 1950s. Drums are genetic. The tuba is your subconscious universal memory. The electric guitar is forward time, it is present mind active. PROTUBERANCE is a trio of tuba, drums, & electric guitar that utilizes jazz strategies and astro physics, and genetrophic time warping endocrinological coincidence. The PROTUBERANCE repertoire consists of memorized rehearsed improvised implosions of jazz standards & originals. Absorb these tracks one at a time, with headphones, and a glass of water. — Mark Weber

protuberance | treated and released | zerx records 019

Mark Weaver, Dave Wayne, Paul Pulaski | Photo: Mark Weber

Protuberance

(is a) guitar trio whose mission statement is likely to include phrases like “having a good time” and “getting down”…there’s an element of composition here, and a definite, deliberate positioning within the jazz tradition (according to the sleeve notes they even play standards, although sadly there are none here).

Using tuba instead as your bass instrument is always an interesting choice, and here Weaver really pushes the music into shape with his big, rounded bass lines and energetic improvisations. The pieces are simple, linear affairs, almost all composed by the tubist and consisting of little more than a bass line and a complementary melody on guitar. For his part, guitarist Pulaski has a lovely energy in his playing, although he tends to lapse into blues cliché, and without the attendant re-contextualisation which comes from…more avant methods.  Still, Pulaski is very listenable, and when the tempo cranks up and tests his technique a bit he can be heard to worry at the notes with a rather likable flair for recovering from his clams.

While all this is going on, drummer Wayne kicks the music along at a brisk pace, locked in pretty tight with his partners to produce something very likable indeed, a music which could have been made any time in the last forty years, really, but which sounds fresh enough not to be branded merely retro. It’s jazz with blues, prog folk, even surf elements, a kind of bastardised jazz from the folks in cowboy country, east of the West coast, away from the big cities where the fashionable stuff happens…a taste of something from slightly outside the categories and the trends set down by the big cities.–Richard Cochrane (Musings 1999)

protuberance | treated and released | zerx records 019

Admit that for a band name, this is original.

Other originality:  this is a guitar/drums/tuba trio.  Yes, tuba.  And Mark Weaver, the band’s tubist, is the principal composer of the band.  Treated and released contains thirteen tracks ranging from three to nine minutes.  They’ve all been recorded at KUNM-FM, a radio station in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Between Paul Pulaski’s guitar (mostly without distortion), Mark Weaver’s tuba and Dave Wayne’s drums, funny stories unfold through twisted melody lines and sudden bursts of free improvisation.  The major comparison would be Forever Einstein, for the use of seemingly simple melodies, the joyful, almost absurd, feel of the music and even the choice of titles (like “Seven Enchiladas” and “Adhesive Colors”), a trademark of Forever Einstein since their first record.

Protuberance treats the listener with some kind of subdued jazz that owes something to Frank Zappa and plays on the simplicity-in-complexity paradox to disorient and seduce the ear.  You will quickly hum “Pocket”‘s theme, but “Pumpkin Pie” will be quite a challenge.  “Tee Vee/T.W.”, dedicated to Tony Williams, will keep you on your toes with its bouncing surprises.  The other tracks should not leave you cold either. Protuberance’s music can be compared to an esthetic developed by the Cunieform label (I am thinking of Forever Einstein of course, but also of Rattlemouth, Blast and Miriodor around Third Warning).  The resulting music is fresh, without pretension and devilishly efficient.  The tuba brings in an unusual note, while the clean guitar shades a surf-like color.  Protuberance is a medicine against jazz taken too seriously :  “absorb these tracks one at a time, with headphones, and a glass of water” (Mark Weber, liner notes). –François Couture (New Release of the Week, Delire Actuel, October 5th, 1999)

I guess there’s something of a tradition for dodgy puns in jazz record titles, but there can’t be much excuse for this band’s name. They’ve got a tuba player, y’see. Geddit? Fortunately the record is sufficiently good that you can forgive them. Just. This is essentially a jazz guitar/bass/drums trio, where the bass has been mugged by a tuba. Recorded in Albuquerque last year, this off-kilter line-up wouldn’t sound out of place in downtown NYC, where the “avant-garde meets stately funk” outlook is certainly familiar yet still offers much room for manoeuvre.

Mark Weaver’s tuba roots the sound with some elegance for such a seemingly awkward instrument, meshing surprisingly well with the other players. Drummer Dave Wayne’s playing is engagingly funky, though with an ear tuned for the sudden off-beat investigation of his kit á là Joey Baron – he takes a fine solo on the self-penned “T. W.” too. Yet, despite the fact that Weaver’s written most of the tunes, and that his tuba is occasionally let loose (showing considerable agility on “Deflections” and some grace on “Soon Enough”), the lead sound here is undoubtedly Paul Pulaski’s guitar. He’s a player of some ability, with a sound I couldn’t really pin down – at times he approaches Bill Frisell’s territory (volume swells, and bent chords), though is perhaps closest to a trickier Marc Ribot – he’s got a slightly sharper, clanging, bluesier tone than most jazz players, which contrasts well with the broad sound of the tuba. The only problem here is that the lack of variation in sound eventually begins to show. No matter how good the players and the tunes are – and they are good – this combination played and recorded “straight” is ultimately a little limiting. Yet I can still heartily recommend this CD to fans of quirky, funky leftfield jazz. Even despite that name. —Dan Hill (http://motion.state51.co.uk/reviews/528.html)

protuberance | treated and released | zerx records 019

With the presence of Mark Weaver’s tuba

and Paul Pulaski’s guitar sounding like a cross between Kelvyn Bell and Steve Gnitka, Protuberance brings back memories of the great early ’80s Arthur Blythe Quintet with Bell and tubaist Bob Stewart.  Pulaski’s dry, natural electric tone clicks nicely with drummer Wayne’s sense of color and shade, while Weaver can sound like a keyboard bass, a vacuum cleaner, or a stylus lifting roughly off an LP.  He displays his ample technique on “Tee Vee” and the intro to “Behind Your Face”, and wrote most of the catchy, riff-based tunes, all of which hover in the 4-minute range.  The one exception, the 9-minute “Pumpkin Pie”, veers quickly away from its edgy melody for a 3-way free conversation.  Reminiscent of some of the more improvisational products of the SST label, this tight trio plays very enjoyable music for the postmodern ear.–Larry Nai (Cadence magazine vol.26 no.5, May 2000 p.41)

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