Free Jazz review by Stef

SHH 005Albatre – A Descent Into The Maelstrom (Shh 005)
Today the new Clean Feed batch has arrived, and we’re still struggling to get some of the previous releases reviewed. This album comes from Shhhpuma, the Portuguese label’s side project, now featuring Albatre, a sax trio that brings us a refreshing and modern new sound.

The trio is Hugo Costa on alto sax, Gonçalo Almeida on electric bass and German drummer Philipp Ernsting, but their take on jazz is anything but what you can expected. It sounds like the grunge version of jazz, with heavy moments of raw violence alternated with quieter melodic moments, like a mixture of Zu with Jim Black’s Alasnoaxis.

Bass and drums come with all the anger and energy of a rock or punk band, while the alto screams and wails full of distress and agony like only a sax can in the best of free jazz modes. The music is raw, direct, without embellishments and needless decoration. This is straight-in-your-ears power jazz, but then of the clever kind and with depth.

A Descent Into The Maelstrom … indeed!


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