Opening with a short span of silence, it doesn’t take Gleanings long to unfold.
Veteran winds player Denley lays out a rich spray of sound, his breath resonating through the walls of his instrument; guitarist Sinclair whirrs and tweaks around him. There’s a crackling and a spattering of saliva – dry and wet takes on the same sound. It’s surprisingly listenable.
In fact, while the thought of litres of Jim Denley’s saliva may suggest otherwise, Gleanings is actually one of the more polite sounding avant-garde/free-jazz recordings I’ve heard in quite a while – at least of those leaning toward the noise/atonality end of the spectrum. The pair’s drones hover well within the favoured low- to mid-frequency range, producing a satisfying rustling that’s almost comforting, while clanks and hums enter and depart with varying degrees of discreetness. Thin and subtle purrings duck and curve beneath the mass of detail.
Gleanings also represents a fairly even balance between immediate, physical sounds and what I assume is digitally processed. In the wider realm of experimental music, it holds up well, due in large part to Denley’s mouth-oriented contributions. A solid recording from two stalwarts of the improv scene.