The Spectrum Between album cover
The Spectrum Between

David Grubbs

2000
Drag City

There’s a light lusciousness to The Spectrum Between that betrays positive developments in Grubbs’s everyday: when interviewed at the time of its release by The Wire, he explained that it was “a much happier record because of things that happened in my personal life.” That might help explain why the writing takes to the air with gestures borrowed from bossa nova; sometimes, it amplifies the folksy lilt to some of Grubbs’s playing; elsewhere, he leans on more familiar, minimalist and cyclical territory. Somehow, it’s all brighter: the overall feel here is sunlit and dazzled. “Pink Rambler” spools a pointillistic guitar phrase as Quentin Rollet blares free improv sax over its ticklish surfaces; Noël Akchoté’s guitar stings through “Whirlweek” and “Seagull and Eagull”. And yet the sweetest moment might be the muted closer, “Two Shades Of Green”, where Grubbs reels off a list of names of flowers (and other things), while Daniel Carter’s trumpet sighs in tandem with Grubbs’s pulsing six string motif.

Jon Dale

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