When I was living at home, there were certain types of music that would cause my mother to knock on my bedroom door as she walked past and ask, "what are you listening to?" in a tone that seemed to wonder whether she had a reason to be worried. The Mayday Session is that type of music. It isn't particularly loud or jarring, but there are enough kinks and corners with who-knows-what on the other side of them to make the whole project vaguely unsettling. Unplanned and unrehearsed, Mayday Session features Saul Cline on saxophone, Matt Wayne on guitar, and Todd Bishop on drums, capturing a live performance for Seattle's KEXP radio show "Sonarchy."
As a result, the mood of the disc is wide open and the trio runs wild with the freedom. They indulge themselves on an eight-minute drone called "Entrance" to open the album and then head right into "Escalator," in which Wayne approximates the most down beaten and obsessive flamenco player in the world. The tracks run into each other, sculpting ambient soundscapes of apprehension and tremulous anticipation for whatever is about to go down.
The Mayday Session succeeds in liberating itself from all expectations simply by presenting music that does as it pleases. Obviously this is not a recording for everyone. It's sure to cause uneasiness if piped into the mall, but it offers tantalizing rewards for listeners prepared to bide their time with it.