Fuck Lungs (Curt Oren & Joe Hess)
November 25, 2016
St. Louis, MO
“Though Fuck Lungs is only comprised of two members, it is in many ways a super group. Curt Oren, god of the internet and master of blowing the baritone, is accompanied by one of St. Louis’s most creative forces in Joe Hess in an effort to create perhaps one of, if not the best free jazz records of the year.
Fuck Lungs is a bombastic, challenging and thoroughly engrossing experience that requires full attention. Perhaps it is oxymoronic to say, but it is everything one would expect from a great free jazz record. Oren manipulates the baritone sax in ways that would make your high school band teacher livid. From loud and boisterous runs to softly whispering to the reed, the noises coming from Curt’s horn are always otherworldly.
The album really melds together, however, through percussion work. Hess’s drums are patient and smart, making space for sound manipulation and horns to take shape and hammering home the point when need be. Not unlike a trequartista, Hess pulls strings in the background awaiting the perfect opportunity to volley home each track.
Oren and Hess wade through numerous dynamic shifts from track to track. It opens with a grandiose swell and moves back and forth between the soft and tedious to loud, slow and sludgy. The chemistry between this pair of midwest weirdos is undeniable and the end product is not soon forgettable. This is an album that gleams with talent throughout and retains its shine after multiple listens. It’s something to be thankful for…because today is Thanksgiving or whatever.”
-Jake Watkins, Already Dead Tapes, 2016
Edition of 100