Luis Lopes – Adam Lane – Igal Foni – What Is When (CF 146)
Portuguese guitarist Luis Lopes defies rigid classifications due to his rather unconventional mode of execution witnessed on this persuasive trio date, featuring American rising star bassist/composer Adam Lane and rock solid, Israeli drummer Igal Foni. It’s a mesmeric gala, brimming with circular themes, and fractured movements.
The guitarist’s patchy voicings ride atop the rhythm section’s bustling cadences, where the band instills a sense of perpetual motion. Here, Lopes dissects and interlinks concise patterns into a semi-structured program, in concert with tangible motifs and the musicians’ ardent improvisational maneuvers. Lopes is a stylist and uses closed-hand tapping techniques while putting matters into overdrive via his cross boundary exercises. He merges free, jazz-rock with dynamic, hard-core experimentalism.
On “Cerejeiras,” the trio conveys temperance with a sinister backdrop, accentuated by Lane’s creaky, arco-based notes and Lopes’ diminutive phrasings. But they kick up a storm during aptly titled, “The Siege,” as Foni offers a tumultuous undercurrent. Then Lane stretches with his airy and pensive solo on “Melodic 8.” In other regions of sound, they launch booming unison ostinatos and venture towards off-kilter metrics, occasionally abetted by Lopes’ haze of progressive-metal like, crunch chords and odd tunings.
The trio casts an abundance of tantalizing propositions throughout this veritably, exciting album, and shun the paths frequently travelled. Each piece stands on its own, and it this point in time, I sincerely hope the unit records again. Marked by diametrically opposed angles and odd-metered song-forms, the artists maintain a keenly identifiable, group-centric methodology.
Steve Swell – Planet Dream (CF 148)
The trio led by trombonist Steve Swell, share some common ground within New York City’s infamous free and progressive jazz scene, as solo performers and members of various ensembles. Moreover, they’re well represented on a global basis, due to their respective output for a variety of record labels. Hence, this outing is partly about layers, contrasts, expressive dialogues and a high-impact mode of delivery. They leave no stone unturned, so to speak.
Brown and Swell complement each other with extended note underpinnings, fragmented mini-motifs, and feverish call and response mechanisms. But it’s cellist Daniel Levin who dishes out the rhythms while serving as the common bond via his nimble plucking and buoyant metrics. The soloists’ slice and dice time, amid a few start and stop based passages, where they often rejuvenate a given theme, then go for the proverbial jugular.
They mix it up rather heartily and loom as busy bees during the largely changeable movements, but converge with a rebellious attitude on “Not Necessarily This, Nor That.” In essence, the hornists perpetuate a humanistic element.
The trio’s bump and groove workout on “Airtight,” is accelerated by Swell’s raspy-toned and melodic, free-jazz solo as the musicians segue into a riotous finale. Therefore, Planet Dream is based upon a musical agenda that is periodically softened, but rarely sweetened. It’s a curiously interesting endeavor, indeed.
Paul Dunmall Sun Quartet – Ancient and Future Airs (CF 138 )
Per un curioso gioco di specchi, di immagini e di significati riflessi, i titoli dei due brani presenti in Ancient and Future Airs ingarbugliano le aspettative degli ascoltatori. Perché il chilometrico (quarantanove minuti) “Ancient Airs” di antico ha ben poco mentre “Future Airs” sembra un tuffo nel passato con le sue cadenze da madrigale. Come a dire nella musica abbandoniamo criteri di analisi classicamente cronologici o consequenziali e accettiamo piuttosto un’idea di circolarità.
“Ancient Airs” è una sorta di suite nelle quale trovano spazio le più svariate situazioni improvvisative, dai furibondi unisoni freebop, a raffinati dialoghi di stampo cameristico, da complesse strutture armoniche agli esperimenti etnici di Yusef Lateef o Tony Scott evocati dalle cornamuse di Paul Dunmall, il tutto sorretto dalla tecnica formidabile dei quattro musicisti. Il breve (nove minuti!) “Future Airs” è al contrario un gioiello di misura, di discrezione e raffinatezza non levigata, di sintesi e di profondità.
Registrato in un torrido giugno 2008 al Living Theater di New York, Ancient and Futures Airs è la testimonianza di un felice incontro tra un gigante dell’improvvisazione europea e tre pezzi da novanta americani. Ma su disco, come speso capita in situazioni del genere, l’evento perde parecchio della propria forza comunicativa e rimane una sensazione di estemporaneità che lascia un po’ di amaro in bocca.
From Sept 16th to the 20th at Cornelia Connelly Center
It’s confirmed, the fourth issue of the CF Fest in New York will happen from sept 16th to the 20th at the Cornelia Connelly Center in Manhattan, New York. It’s pretty close (3 blocks) from the Living Theater where it happened last year. The programa will be announced really soon. Make your plans and don’t miss it !!!
Cornelia Connelly Center: 220 East 4th street, New York