Daily Archives: March 10, 2011

Blow Up (Italy) review by Enrico Bettinello

Blow Up (Italy) review by Enrico Betinello

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

Duos: When The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts
The defining characteristic of all great partnerships in cinema, from the male-bonding buddy movie to the classic Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films, is the tension created between two self-assertive characters, before their eventual collaboration. The same can be said of jazz and improvisational duos. By matching two authoritative players, sparks fly and, if the two cooperate for sympathetic ends, the session produces a worthy result. Below are a few duos of exemplary character.
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Scott Fields / Matthias Schubert – Minaret Minuets (CF 213)
Applying laser to Minaret Minuets (or playing the download), from electric guitarist Scott Fields and tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert, recalls the early days of mono-into-stereo recordings. Back then you might hear the saxophonist coming from just one speaker. Where you sat in relation to your hi-fi set up was paramount. By unplugging one channel you would be able to create your own solo session. With Fields and Schubert, both strong soloists, you might be tempted to do the same, but, alas, modern engineers blend the channels for balanced listening.

Fields, an American free jazz player from 1960s’ Chicago, has transformed into a complex thinker and organizer of structured and intricate group interactions and improvisations. He moved to Germany a few years back and began working in Schubert’s jazz orchestra. The two have also collaborated on Fields’ ensemble recording, Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007), with John Hollenbeck and Scott Roller.

What stands out here is the multiple simple gestures made by each musician. Be it a saxophone’s flutter and breath or a guitar’s string of notes, each produces sounds that seem to shimmer or glow before dwindling away. The pair apply more space than might be expected. Is it in deference to the other? Perhaps. Maybe that is why the ear is drawn to a single speaker. Focusing on just one player would cause you to ignore the superb interaction of forces here.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=38941

All About Jazz-Italy review by Pierpaolo Faggiano

Stephan Crump – James Carney – Echo Run Pry (CF 199)
Valutazione: 3 stelle
Tutti e due vengono dalla scena downtown newyorkese, da noi forse il più conosciuto è Stephan Crump ascoltato spesso nel trio di Vijay Iyer. Insieme firmano un album composto da due lunghe improvvisazioni in cui convivono ricerca cameristica e lunghe fughe in libertà. Episodi introspettivi si alternano a improvvisazioni di forte espressionismo sviluppati tuttavia sul filo di un costante rigore formale.
I due musicisti esplorano le infinite possibilità timbriche dei propri strumenti lentemente, pazientemente, sempre alla ricerca dello stimolo reciproco. Pianoforte e contrabbasso si avvinghiano, si lasciano, si riprendono, si allontanano nuovamente, in un continuo alternarsi di tensione e distenione (narrativa).
Il pianoforte è ondivago, può passare da un cromatismo lirico ad un astrattismo sempre controllato, mentre dal contrabbasso prendono forma grumi sonori che poi si stemperano in una materia lirica e malleabile (come nella lunga sequenza con l’archetto del secondo brano, di grande respiro melodico). E c’è da dire che la musica è costantemente infiammata dai sussulti ritmici e dalla partecipazione grintosa del contrabbasso.
Il rischio di cedere alle noia in questi frangenti è dietro l’angolo, ma Crump e Carney, sanno essere diretti, incisivi e per nulla logorroici. Meno di 50 minuti contro gli ormai 70 d’ordinanza di un qualsiasi disco di musica improvvisata è una bella sfida.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=6299