Naked City guitarist + Soundgarden Pearl Jam drummer = Floratone

I haven’t visited Pause & Play in a while, mainly because it’s no substitute for ICE magazine. I did, however, find a particularly interesting entry. This past Tuesday (Aug. 14) marked the release of Floratone, a collaboration involving guitarist Bill Frisell, electronics whiz Tucker Martine, producer Lee Townsend and drummer Matt Chamberlain.

It’s useless playing six degrees of separation with 3/4 of this group, because they all work within one degree of each other. Townsend has produced many of Frisell’s solo albums. Martine has worked with keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, who has also produced Frisell. Oh, and both Horvitz and Frisell were in John Zorn’s Naked City. The only wild card is Chamberlain, the former drummer of Soundgarden Pearl Jam. How would a grunge rocker end up with these cats? Easy — Frisell and Chamberlain live in the same city, Seattle. (As noted in comments, the former drummer of Soundgarden is Matt Cameron. Matt Chamberlain worked with Pearl Jam and Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians. It would be interesting to see whether a drummer like Cameron could play with Frisell, et al.)

Visit the Floratone web site over at Blue Note Records, and an embedded audio selection of the title track starts up. I usually hate autoplaying Flash, but in this case, it’s very much welcome. Martine created some haunting textures in Horvitz’s 4+1 Ensemble, and it’s those flourishes which drive the track. Frisell’s own music isn’t usually anchored to a strict beat, and it sounds like Chamberlain is forcing him into a steady pace (at least on the 30-second iTunes clips.) I’m interested to see how this album turns out.

Bassist Viktor Krauss, cornetist Ron Miles and violinist Evynd Kang make guest appearances.