Snail Meets West is two lo-fi songwriters nodding to Ornette.
On the album’s download page the credits read, “Recorded in loving memory of Ornette Coleman.” The legendary pioneer of “free jazz” died last year. The album is free improvisation, naturally, but the unlikely combo of piano and drums by Dan West and Azalia Snail, respectively, make it a unique attempt to honor the late great free jazz master. Their repertoire is all about psych and indie rock; both of them are seasoned, creative players going back to the nineties.
Azalia “Queen of Lo-Fi” Snails was wedded to Los Angeles psych rocker, Dan West, in 2012. They first released an album together as LoveyDove in 2014, making some pretty great tunes. This free improv on Snail Meets West was recorded just months ago and put up for download at Union Pole. It isn’t what they do best — but it’s what Union Pole markets best.
I find it enjoyable in an innocent sort of way, but it is definitely a bold move going this direction. More power to them though, it takes guts. Azalia’s drumming is very loose, and can sound like a kid banging away against Dan’s more precise piano. Their chemistry makes it work, however, because in free improv, its all about the relationship. And I think they’re still in love.
This album is downloadable at Union Pole.