Jordan Glenn – Flustered
8.11.22 by Matty McPherson
Jordan Glenn’s solo work has been scant. Although it’s likely you have come across a crevice of his work over the past 20 years. The Mills College alum is a big collaborator first and foremost, with credits attached to various flash in the pan projects, amongst big dogs like the Fred Frith Trio. Solo work is scarce, opportunities themselves not present until lockdown. Thus Glenn emerged with Flustered, a fleet series of one-man drum solo delights. It’s maverick goodness that sounds expressingly realized in its moment.
Glenn’s improvisatory soundscapes are riddled with an adventurous imperative. There’s not a singular approach to the drum kit taken. Tracks can start in various directions: grooved-out deep listening holes (Kick Ups, Parasol Work), spiffy cymbal rushes (Floor Roles, Forced Bounce), amongst near-musique concrete cohesions (Passing Mixed Objects) amongst other admissives. His ear for percussive patter and sound blasts is playful and tenacious; a soundtracking that matches wobbly 4D platformers and sumo wrestling semi-finals alike. Even though many of the tracks are running around three minutes, Glenn’s careful pacing often allows one track to segway into another without much of a jarring abrasiveness. A succinct flow unspools itself across the tape.
It’s a welcome quality, as the tape’s freewheeling sound is not always tethered to a one-size approach to percussion. Yes, free-jazz and free-noise are avenues of exploration, but Glenn’s also wielding a knack for custom designed instruments. Blistering, unvarnished folksy qualities seem to muster through on tracks like “Applause Point” and “The Carousel,” bringing in different traditions and improvisational approaches to Flustered’s more pounding first half. The qualities of both sides will (in classic Glenn fashion), mend and collaborate over the near-eight minutes of Stuffed Behind the Back. As finales go, it’s madcapper madness. Blow-by-blow tumbles that parallel the bluesy swagger of “Ascension Day” in their pacing. As Glenn continues to add new textures and chimes, suddenly the drum solo drops out–all attention is on those chimes and folkish impulses. A wistful, reserved détente to a thrilling tape.
Edition of 100 Cassettes Available at the Full Spectrum Bandcamp Page