Impnotes.jpg (5397 bytes)  




Hot Links

About Us

What's New?

Aktivavoco -
Edge City Collective

Jon Thompson (saxophones and flute),
Bart Miltenberger (trumpet),
Scott Schaffer -guitarist
Michael Taylor (bass)
Scott MacDonald (drums),
Woz (synthesizers)  
Vicki Dodd, Vocalist


Edge City Collective -

by Sam Mitchell

Independent release (2007) 

Aktivavoco is the third in a sequence of improvisational recording projects by Edge City Collective. After two adventurous instrumental records, this installment is a sharp departure for the group. It explores fertile new ground in featuring four guest vocalists and an array of sampled voices. 

Led by producer/guitarist Scott Schaffer, Edge City is not a band per se, but a group of collaborators based in the Philadelphia and Seattle areas. The core ensemble consists of Jon Thompson (saxophones and flute), Bart Miltenberger (trumpet), Michael Taylor (bass) and Scott MacDonald (drums), Woz (synthesizers) and Schaffer. While the instrumentalists again make stellar contributions, their primary role here is support for the vocalists, most notably Vickie Dodd. 


After a free-flowing introductory duet between Dodd and Miltenberger, the program takes a series of sudden twists. “Aukcio” introduces Tuvan throat-singer Devan Miller and jazz vocalist Judith-Kate Friedman in a collage of dissonant and melodic sounds. “Verodangera,” is a free-jazz accompaniment to a satirical reading of a scrambled political speech. “Sageco” contrasts Jim Couture’s classical-tinged chanting with electronic sounds and a syncopated drum riff.


The spiraling slows by the album’s seventh track, “Denove,” which playfully revisits the trumpet-vocal theme, and Aktivavoco settles into a groove defined by creative interplay between the players and singers. Dodd exudes a spiritual energy that is at turns meditative and frenetic. After “Metamorfozo” builds to peak intensity, “Ridado” releases the tension in a hilarious collage built on Thompson’s tenor solo. The album ends with the beautiful “Harmonio,” and a moving coda by Dodd and Miltenberger.


Aktivavoco is Edge City Collective’s most challenging work to date. Inventive, spontaneous and rewarding, it is a fitting end to the trilogy.



Edge City Collective website: