Colin Stetson

New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light (Constellation)

What fun to have music to play for guests, guaranteed to evoke the response “What the hell is that?” followed by “shit!” or “It’s amazing!” Actually, New History Warfare Vol. 3 is at least as jolting as Vol. 2 and too frightening to be played in a restaurant. Pop fans’ only reference might be to outbursts from Andy MacKay during Roxy Music’s heyday, or Bowie’s Heroes. Stetson’s mastery of circular (continuous) breathing into his three saxophones is far more than a carnival trick. He’s exploring how far he can push it using vocals, his own and those of Justin Vernon. It’s a crazy beauty, it’s skronk, it’s a flock of birds, it’s art.

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