When I interviewed Peter Zummo a few years ago, something key he said was,
“One should seek to not succumb to categorisation” and so described his own music as non-categorisable.
Zummo studied under John Cage and Alvin Lucier. Took full advantage of the abundance of cross-fertilisation that New York`s Downtown Avant-Garde had to offer. Despite all this, his long-standing love of Big Band Jazz and Blues does shine through.
The pieces on Frame Loop were recorded as a quartet at the same time as his Six Songs and Zummo With An X. In around 1984. With Bill Ruyle on marimba and Mustafa Ahmed on congas. They are characterised by Zummo`s unmistakable horn. His muted and wah-wah-ed improvisations. In real time, and Hi-Fi. They are also characterised by Arthur Russell`s unmistakable cello. Scraped and sighing in “Killer” whale song.
The music steps almost like a looser version of Russell`s School Bell Treehouse. Or the Russell-penned Wax The Van by Lola. Like Satchmo sitting in at The Mudd Club with Jean-Michel Basquiat for Gray`s Drum Mode.
You can order a copy of Peter Zummo`s Frame Loop directly from Foom.