Tim Brady’s 24 Frames series (this double CD and its companion 24 Frames—Trance, from 2010) is about precision and virtuosity. Billed as a larger project of “24 compositions… atmospheres… scenarios… [and] ways of playing guitar,” the Scatter discs offer six duos and twelve miniatures (solo pieces) composed by Brady. All are finely crafted, note perfect, and are performed with a pristine timbre— perhaps too pristine for my taste. Brady’s duets expand the virtuosity that’s at play, with him often challenging his fellow musicians to duals with his fret board.
Jean-Marc Bouchard (baritone sax), Lori Freedman (bass clarinet) and Karen Young (voice) all take the challenge and keep pace with Brady’s sizzling fingers on their respective instruments. Young’s vocal range is particularly impressive and at points she perfectly matches the texture of the distortion that Brady adds to his sounds. The highlight of the duets is a lovely piece with violist Pemi Paull. The warmth of his playing adds a particularly good counterpoint to Brady and encourages a beautiful interlude between some of the more ostentatious work.
The miniatures disc shows even more of Brady’s talents, with a bit of warm flare overcoming some of the previous showiness. Threefold Scordatura finds him creating nice Frissell-like forays around his guitar, while Delay Tactics sees him creating wild sonic escapades out of the possibilities of four types of delay pedals. Finally, Five Colours ends the collection with a series of descriptive sound colours that end the project on a particularly warm note.