December National Music Reviews

Review: Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones – Quatorze Pièces de Menace

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Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones
Quatorze Pièces de Menace
Street: 09.24
Dale Cooper Quartet = Tristeza + Swans + late-era Aidan Baker
Quatorze Pièces de Menace starts with near perfect treatise explaining a term like “dark jazz” to the masses. This 20-plus minute opus tracks a slow-build progression from dark ambience to slow industrial clang, to Birth of the Cool–era Miles Davis cool jazz, to swells of post-rock guitars and swathes of noise. “Brosme En Dos-Vert” is a huge track, and honestly, the album could stop there. Cooper does, however, have a few more things to say concerning the state of dark jazz. Quatorze features a few choice guest vocal spots by Alicia Merz (Birds of Passage) and Gaëlle Kerrien who add a certain sense of contemplative seriousness to an already deadly serious album. Otherwise, the album is composed of slow-burn numbers centered around the interplay of drum and upright bass with elements of cool and free jazz woven throughout the sprawling and cavernous maw of the album. –Ryan Hall