John Edmonds

Subzerosonic 2002 CD $12.

With his first CD release, John Edmonds brings us an offering from the great white north. Recorded in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska, Subzerosonic could almost be considered variations on a theme. The first sentence in the inner liner notes reads "Subzerosonic. It's freezing loud somewhere". The notes then proceed to list the songs which, not coincidentally, are named after some of the coldest places on earth (and beyond).

Right from the first note, you get a clear picture of what this CD is all about. The first piece "Prospect Creek" opens with the sound of intricate rhythms, ominous chords played on a Kurzweil PC2, and Edmond's thunderous bass played on the deep tuning of his Grand Stick. As the piece progresses, Edmonds begins to work some of his fluid two handed melody work that continues throughout the record and provides the main themes and solos. These themes and solos are presented with a varying array of timbres though and John locks into some extended jams that are reminiscent of early "Return to Forever". Toward the end of the record, there is a marked change in the mood as a more somber tone is taken at the instant the titles move from the northern to the southern hemisphere with "Vostok". In the end, the picture is wrapped up with the other worldly "Olympus Mons".

With Subzerosonic, John Edmonds delivered on his goal to provide a record not of Stick music, but music where the delivery vehicle just so happens to be a Chapman Stick. Isn't that lucky for us.