American pianist-composer Russ Lossing is known for his 12-year on-and-off collaboration with drummer Paul Motian (to who, he made tribute albums – Drum Music and Motian Music, both on Sunnyside, 2012 and 2019). He is a musician who has charted his own path playing literally every kind of music under the sun but has focused mainly on free and creative music since the beginning of his musical career in the early eighties.
Alternate Side Parking Music, Lossing’s 23rd album and released on his own Aqua Piazza label, suggests another side in the ever-evolving sonic vision of Lossing, focusing on a distinct sound concept and influenced by 20th-century contemporary music. The album features Lossing’s long-time comrades – reeds player Adam Kolker and double bass player Matt Pavolka, along with newer drummer Dayton Seok, now called now King Vulture. This quartet played the new music for the past four years before entering the Charlestown Road Studio in New Jersey in August 2022.
Lossing composed the music for Alternate Side Parking Music while sitting in his car on the street in Manhattan, where there are parking rules called alternate-side parking for street cleaning, that forces any car owner to move the car from one side of the street to the other several times a week. Losing, like many, found that it was difficult to find a good parking spot and often had to sit in his car, double parked, and wait for the street cleaning machine to pass by on the other side of the street.
Losing decided to use these stressful experiences for the benefit of a «Transparent Composition». The ten pieces reflect on the comical and chaotic, cacophonic and intense sonic aspects of being locked inside a car with a lot of honking and jockeying for position. These sonic events were transformed into inventive and tricky and puzzling layers of rhythmic dances and funky grooves, imagine these events as sci-fi games with all the intricacies of squeezing into a parking spot with two inches in front and two inches in back of a car and even introducing a quote from Arnold Schoenberg’s piano piece. Losing offers a compassionate and often lyrical perspective of these surprisingly inspiring experiences, obviously, with healthy doses of irony. He says that one must adopt a zen-like attitude and get into a groove to endure these experiences. No doubt, Losing mastered these cacophonic grooves.
Russ Lossing (piano, fender rhodes, wurlitzer electric piano), Adam Kolker (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet), Matt Pavolka (double bass), Dayeon Seok (drums)