Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June Ensemble

Be It As I See It

by John Garratt

17 March 2011

 
cover art

Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June Ensemble

Be It As I See It

(Fresh Sound New Talent)
US: 25 Jan 2011
UK: 9 Nov 2010

Gerald Cleaver is an unstoppable modern drummer. Name it and he’ll do it. Keep time with Joe Morris, Roscoe Mitchell, and David Torn? No problem. Front three bands with three different styles? Easy. So with his Uncle June ensemble, he casts his blanket wide and tries to do it all in just one album. The fact that Be It As I See It is so absurdly all over the place is one of its defining characteristics. It gets off to a crazy Beefheart-y start with “To Love”, but then moves to tranquil waters with a flute-carried “Charles Street Sunrise”. His extended suite “Fence & Post” becomes even more abstract as the gargling noises of “The Lights” offset the harmonically off-kilter ballad “Alluvia”. Okay, so just what in the hell is going on with Cleaver’s band and this CD? It’s tough to say without reading about any of its background, but Be It As I See It proves that mixed bags don’t always lead to dodgy results. In fact, they can be subtly exceptional.

Be It As I See It

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article