Baiza / Fogel / Shiroishi – The Hound, the Toad, & the Hare

7.21.20 by Matty McPherson

It’s not everyday that you get Joe Baiza, Corey Fogel, and Patrick Shiroishi in the same room. Think about it: the guitarist of Saccharine Trust, a drummer responsible for some of the most provocative percussion of the last decade, and LA’s uber-prolific saxophone extraordinaire (respectively). When would they ever find time to come together? Would they need a when2meet or doodle poll? 

Well they did back in 2018 (April 14th to be exact), resulting in a tape about the length of a prolonged Frasier episode that has been entitled “The Hound, the Toad, & the Hare”. Composed of six sections, the tape is a concise cut of free-jazz, mastered by Felix Salazar for perfect playback in your deck. And yes, the cover by Baiza somehow combines two pieces of Beat Happening art into one. Huge score.

Coming from experience with Shiroishi’s work, the tape further shows off his dynamic style with the alto and baritone sax, especially in quiet moments. On II and III, Shiroishi’s sax tiptoes over the anxious sputtering of Fogel’s cymbals, chaos uncertain. He does the same thing with Baiza’s strumming, which can range from full fledged no-wave to sensitive, surf-indebted finger-picking. In the tape’s best moment (IV), their sounds all collide for a classic noise burst that ends side A. V and VI continue this quiet-loud dynamic, with greater emphasis on Baiza’s guitar and Fogel’s cymbal echoes that border on a tumultuous psychedelia. That it cuts off so short is the truest tragedy of the tape.

If anything, it has left me yearning for another collaboration from the three. 3 men from distinct contexts deserve a longer set! Don’t worry fellas, I’m setting up the when2meet right now.

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