Morgan Guberman, Contrabass Matt Ingalls, clarinet Gino Robair, Percussion Scott Rosenburg, Reeds John Shiurba, Guitar Recorded April 14, 2001, at Boomtown in Sausalito, Ca. What the Critics are Saying: Rosenberg's compositions are as thorny and challenging as their titles ('Shrrr', 'Sdppd', 'Sttm'...) - his scores leave much room for improvisation, but also present fiendish problems of ensemble coordination, which are brilliantly handled by the Skronktet West. It's nothing less than a supergroup of sorts - in addition to Rosenberg's saxophones and contrabass clarinet, the quintet includes clarinet virtuoso Matt Ingalls, guitarist John Shiurba, bassist Morgan Guberman, and, driving the machine along with consummate finesse, Gino Robair on percussion. If you leave your brain outside and expect yet another helping of run of the mill improv fizzes and wheezes, you're not going to get much out of this album; if however, you care to listen - with an emphasis on care - you'll find it one of the richest and most satisfying releases of the year...Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic Magazine All five players are strong and it's a testament to their ability that the Skronktet is able to seamlessly transition among various styles - musically, it's a long way from many of Rosenberg's compositions to the noisy improv that often follows, but none of the changes seem forced. Finally, it's worth mentioning that EL sounds terrific: David Greenberg's recording is superb. For fans of the improv scenes in, say, New York or Chicago who are unfamiliar with what's happening on the West Coast, EL is an excellent introduction because it features a number of the Bay Area's best players playing well and imaginatively in several improv styles...Charlie Wilmoth, Dusted ... a splendid stew of carefully crafted notated and improvised portions, a limitless feast....With this album Rosenberg reaffirms his emerging status as a significant free improvisor and writer, shedding some of the excess abstraction of his earliest recordings and infusing his works with humor. His solos take on qualities of a man in a rush who knows where he is going but has no time to dawdle. Rosenberg's launching point takes a cue from Braxton, but he is careful not to clone but to embrace and the rules attest to Rosenberg's ability to maintain his individuality. Shiurba is a remarkable guitarist and he contributes significantly with his off-beat playing, as does percussionist Gino Robair. There is electricity in the air and Rosenberg exploits it fully, creating a stunningly, sophisticated album that is as fun as it is serious, fulfilling what George Gruntz terms Serious Fun...Steven Loewy, All Music Guide Gino Robair lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has studied percussion with Ron George and AMM drummer Eddie Prevost, composition with Lou Harrison and Barney Childs, and earned two masters degrees (electronic music and composition) from Mills College, Oakland. He has performed and recorded in duo and in larger group with Anthony Braxton. He works regularly with his Splatter Trio and as a soloist, and has also performed with Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA saxophone quartet and Paul Plimley. Guitarist John Shiurba is a composer and guitarist whose musical pursuits include improvisation, art-rock, modern composition and noise. Shiurba has recorded and toured the U.S. and Europe as a member of the bands Eskimo, The Molecules and Spezza Rotto, as a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the SFSound Ensemble, and in various improv settings. Shiurba has composed works for his own Triplicate and 5x5 ensembles, for the SFSound Ensemble, and for various soloists. As a guitarist Shiurba has developed a unique and personalized approach to the guitar. Through the use of extended techniques and unusual preparations, he expands the traditional sound range of the instrument, producing stunning, often unrecognizable results. Cadence Magazine calls Shiurba a 'wildly creative guitarist... anti-jazz, anti everything else, yet utterly compelling.' Shiurba was invited to play at the Seattle Improvised Music Festival in 1998 and at the High Zero Festival in Baltimore in 1999, and the Olympia Experimental Music Festival in 2002, as well as being featured at New Langton Arts in 2002, premiering his work 'Triplicate' He has played with internationally acclaimed musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne and Jack Wright, as well as many of the finest West Coast improvisers-Gino Robair, Dan Plonsey, Scott Rosenberg, Myles Boisen, Matt Ingalls, Tim Perkis, and Matthew Sperry to name a few.