Right from the jump, with Bop It, Millions and his crew: Peter Warren (tracks 1, 5, 6)/Mark Miller (tracks 2, 3) on bass, Sadiq Abdu Shahid on drums, and Garret List on trombone, slam into some seriously swinging instrumental interaction. Shahid hits things crisp and hard, knocking around with great rolling aplomb, and tight syncopation that melds like iron to Warren's big walking bass lines. Atop this, Millions speaks all kind of multiphonic dialects with his alto sax. His cries, wails, guffaws, and all around extended ruminations carry the attentive ear into the kind of aural abstractions that seem like such inherent qualities from reed instruments when in the hands of a superior player. Disaster Amnesiac has read about the mid-1970's time frame being a kind of dry spell for Jazz, but, clearly, whomever wrote those words was not aware of Kenny being on the scene. Multiplexmulti follows. This track of Musique Concrete styled experimentation features List and Millions getting odd with their voices, along with their respective axes. Buchla synth tones blend with 'bone bleats and flute trills as these dudes get very Avant Garde with it. As I've listened, my mind has conjured up fragments of Ira Cohen type films. This track would fit in fine with those kinds of moves.
The band moves back into earthier territory next, with the nice, lengthy Bossa Nova From Hell. Miller takes a great, plucky solo pretty early on, followed by a short statement from List, cool for its warbling tones, before Millions takes off on an extended sax musing. He starts off kind of low, before soaring up into higher register glossalalia. Shahid holds things down for him, varying his bossa beats with a feel that Disaster Amnesiac keeps thinking of as "gravillic" (see Anthony Braxton). It for sure ain't no half step. List steps back into the fray for some more duo exchanges with Kenny before the head statement is given again. There's a sophistication to this song, shown strongly within its harmonic voices, that you just gotta go with. These guys were players.
More pure abstraction occurs with Lament For A Caged Lion, in which steaming Buchla sounds serve as a bed for plaintive bass clarinet playing from Millions. Kenny lays into this lament with passionate insight, giving human voice to some poor, caged creature. Sadiq steps out on the next track, What's the Difference Between a Pizza and a Jazz Musician?. This track's tight turns and corners are navigated easily by the drummer. His snare rolls fit in tightly with the (harm)melodics of the piece's head. He pairs sweet cymbal rolls with bowed bass from Warren before taking a kick ass solo on which his well tuned tom toms are played with musical fury, with stabbing interjections from the 'bone. It's the kind of solo that gets people standing in the live setting. Give it up for Shahid! Good lord what a great skins man.
Mulitplexity concludes the Blues-ey shuffle of Terrestrial Delectations, during which Kenny Millions serves up a sweet, extended solo that is indeed earthy in its tone as Warren throws down the Funk on an electric bass and Sadiq absolutely buries the pocket. Millions hits high notes, gets all kind of colorful, and just generally slays throughout. This track's groove is Miles wide, as if they'd been digging a tunnel from an extended stay in Agartha or Pangea. A very different solo turn from Shahid signals the close, and the band takes things home, struttin' all the damn way, as well they should. If you've got it, flaunt it!
As stated, Disaster Amnesiac is at somewhat of a loss as to why I've never been aware Kenny Williams, or the other stellar musicians on Multiplexity up to this point. If you've been listening to them, right on, if not, this is a fine way to be introduced to their talents. I guess that we all have catching up to do in one way or another.