WAYS

 

Ways, West’s duo with drummer Evan Cartwright, is utterly distinctive. A Ways performance plunges listeners into temporal ambiguity on all levels. The rhythms hover, suggesting several tempi simultaneously, and this trait telescopes out to the formal level, where the ear is drawn equally to the moment and to the convoluted larger structures. Cartwright’s soft and constant percolation provides an ambling and resolutely directionless momentum, and there’s a tender volatility to West’s contributions. One detects improvisation, yet it’s all so tidily egalitarian and clearly delineated that it comes off like a loose chamber-music variant, rather than some mutant strain of jazz. A superficial glance at the duo’s instrumentation suggests the fiery free-jazz touchstone Interstellar Space, John Coltrane’s duet record with drummer Rashied Ali; but West’s curt, iterative chromatic gestures and the music’s introverted, clock-bending elusiveness are closer in spirit to the later Morton Feldman.

- Nick Storring Musicworks Magazine

 

Between solo sets and larger-format ensembles, Ways is a midpoint in Brodie West's explorations of rhythm and composition. Joined by percussionist Evan Cartwright (a member of West's Eucalyptus while also playing with Tasseomancy, Omhouse, and Isla Craig) the duo pares things back to the spare essentials, where the quietly off-kilter rhythms of Cartwright's slightly-hesitant drum-grooves create a space for West's explorations. Inspiring lean-in-close deep listening more than body movin' abandon, Ways examines the inner surfaces of the sounds in West's larger projects.

- Joe Strutt, Mechanical Forest Sound

 

Recordings


"Apparantly since I last saw Brodie West and Evan Cartwright performing as Ways, they'd been working on finding more restrained modes of expression. The fact that they'd stripped things back so far that Cartwright was at one point playing percussion with the tiniest taps of a pair of butter knives (!) helped make sense of their opening, where the pair played a percussion duet with mallets on glass kitchen bowls, sharing gently-ringing chimes back-and-forth before West started to add his saxophone." - Mechanical Forest Sound