Squid’s Ear review by Massimo Ricci

CF 159Nobuyasu Furuya Trio – BENDOWA (CF 159)
Armed with tenor sax, bass clarinet and flute — the latter played with galvanic fervor in the final improvisation — Nobuyasu Furuya barefacedly disrupts the canons of a recherché intellectualism typical of selected fringes of so-called “free” jazz, an attitude reflected by the succinct fluency he displays in this set with his Portuguese trio. Furuya, born in Japan, divides his life between Lisbon and Berlin; Hernani Faustino’s double bass and Gabriel Ferrandini’s drums tighten the reins of inordinate autonomy, contributing to a welcome restraint that places every detail of the mix in its optimal position for the listener to consider.

However, you just need to hear the brusque forewarnings closing the first track — all the chapters being unnamed — or the hostile outbursts found in the fourth track to discern the same channeled rage and the “fearless warrior” attitude of someone like, say, Peter Brötzmann. Even so, at the beginning of the second subdivision the junction of low-density scrape plus stroked harmonics by the rhythm section and the stern lines depicted by the leader’s flute throws us into realms where one focuses on what the musicians really have to express more than the technical aspect of things, usually with fewer notes than expected.

A healthy air of below-ground tunefulness — though not exactly suitable for sing-along purposes — emerges now and again, totally deprived of flamboyance. The systematic awareness of what waters the sonic ship is navigating is a comforting flavor in times of lost directions. When the players immerse themselves into asymmetrical pulse, Furuya stays away from otiose phraseologies without appearing conservative, still in possession of a timbral muscle allowing him to hit hard and often if necessary. Faustino and Ferrandini accompany those gestures with incorruptible solidity and nourishing rhythmic intensity. This is a trio that functions as to one to transmit artistic integrity.
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