Forbes Graham

November 29, 2022

Another Day, Another Vector
Relative Pitch RPR 1142

Dedicated to subverting expected instrumental sounds Boston-based Forbes Graham brought his drum machine, laptop computer along with his trumpet to this session with New York bassist Brandon Lopez and synthesizer whiz Cecilia Lopez. Attaining his goal, the five selections are more about sonics than song. Experienced in sound exploring, Graham who has recorded with the likes of Damon Smith enlisted players with similar aims. Brandon Lopez has worked with a wide swath of Manhattan improvisers, while Cecilia Lopez’s drones and loops have enlivened gigs with likes of Gerald Cleaver.

Following Graham’s dictates, the three are most of the way though the first selection before half-valve brass smears or string strums can be detected. Before and after that the sound fields are dominated by shaking vibrations, burbling stretches, disconnected whistles and ray gun-like scoops and whoops. This electro-acoustic duality is maintained throughout the disc as squeezed pulses, radio station tuning crackles and on-line gaming turbulence tones predominate.
Programming hasn’t replaced personality altogether however, especially on “We Are In A Disc” and “Forming Those Battle Plans”. Following half-valve smears and open horn bugling on the latter, Graham sounds a completely authentic Bebop riff, answered by a walking double bass line, that is only slightly subverted by laptop whooshes and wiggles and automated signals from the synth. Those outer-space-directed echoes share space with brass grace notes and tremolo flutters on “ We Are In A Disc”, with the squeezed pulse eventually giving way to cymbal-like smacks and a strummed and stropping bass solo that when the strings are detuned becomes a repetitive ostinato beneath the machine-made warbles and squeezed pulses.

Experimentation is one thing. But in expressing Another Day, Another Vector, Forbes, Lopez and Lopez proclaim the human-ness of their playing beneath the voltage flutters and rolled out oscillations which define the disc.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Send Them In 2. We Are In A Disc-3. Forming Those Battle Plans 4. We Got Out Of The Disc. We Got Out Of The Disc 5. Ran Out Of Bells..

Personnel: Forbes Graham (trumpet, drum machine, laptop computer); Brandon Lopez (bass) and Cecilia Lopez (synthesizers)