Daily Archives: November 5, 2013

Jazzpossu review

CF 283Pascal Niggenkemper Vision7 – Lucky Prime (CF 283)
Yksi tämän vuoden Pori Jazzin kiinnostavimmista uutta musiikkia esittelevistä vieraista oli saksalaissyntyisen basistin Pascal Niggenkemperin Vision7 joka toi tuulahduksen modernia keskieurooppalaista avant-garde kamarijazzia Charles Gilin kuratoimaan uLTRA mUSIC nIGHTS kokonaisuuteen. (heinäkuisesta konsertista tässä blogissa)   Kokoonpanon aikaisempien esiintymisten ohessa äänitetty levy Lucky Prime oli tuolloin Porissa saatavana aivan uunituoreena, edes bändin jäsenet eivät olleet fyysistä levyä nähneet ennen konserttipäivää ja nyt syyskuussa levy on virallisesti ilmestymässä portugalilaisella Clean Feed -laatulabelilla.   Avausbiisi Carnet Plein d’Histoires esittelee Vision7:n ilmaisun osa-alueita laajasti. Levyn avaa vokalisti Emilie Lesbros’n lausunta joka tuo musiikkiin runollisuutta ja teatraalisuutta ja alleviivaa ensemblen kansakunnat ylittävää luonnetta kolmella eri kielellä, mutta toisaalta paikoitellen myös neuroottista hermostuneisuutta. Taustalla kuuluu hektinen kolina ja kilinä. Soitto kasvaa voimakkuudessa, mutta Peter Brötzmannin koulukunnan jyräävän voimakkaasta freestä ei ole kyse vaan ilmaisu on hienostuneempaa ja puhaltimissa Frank Gratkowski pitäytyy tunnistettavien nuottien soitossa eikä pelata vain ääniväreillä. Voimakkaimmin dissonanssin kanssa flirttailee pianisti Eve Risser joka on paikoin varsin pitkällä Cecil Taylorin viitoittamalla tiellä.   Ehkä muutenkin Cecil Taylor ja erityisesti 60-luvun puolenvälin levyt Unit Structures ja Conquistador! tulivat mieleen Jazzpossulle läheisimpinä vertailukohtana jazzin historian merkkilevyistä. Mitään easy listeningiä Vision7 ei ole ja jonkin verran avant-garde korvaa tarvitaan, mutta vastaavasti levy kestää useita kuuntelukertoja ja siitä saa jatkuvasti enemmän lisää. Myös seitsemän hengen ensemblen jakaantuminen pienempiin yksiköihin tuo musiikkiin kiinnostavaa vaihtelua, koko tunteiden skaala käydään levyn mittaan läpi.   Muutaman kuukauden kuuntelun perusteella levy toimii kuitenkin erityisesti kokonaisuutena ja sitä tekee mieli kuunnella alusta loppuun, joten levyn kuuntelu kyllä palkitsee kärsivällisen kuuntelijan.   Tätä kirjoitettaessa levy ei ole ilmeisesti vielä laajassa jakelussa, mutta Digeliukseen sitä on jo toimitettu pieni erä ja lisää on tulossa, joten sieltä kannattaa kiinnostuneiden kysellä. Clean Feedin julkaisut ovat suurimmaksi osaksi myös Spotifyssa, joten bändin musiikkiin päässee tutustumaan sitäkin kautta.


JazzMag review by Philippe Carles



JazzMag review by Stéphane Ollivier


Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 275LAMA + Chris Speed – Lamaçal  (CF 275)
Susana Santos Silva es un tercio de LAMA, que completan Gonçalo Almeida (contrabajo) y Greg Smith (batería). Para Lamaçal, su segunda grabación, registrada en directo en el portugués Portalegre Jazz Festival, contaron con la colaboración del saxofonista Chris Speed. Gonçalo Almeida es el autor de cuatro composiciones, mientras que Santos Silva, Almeida y Speed aportan una cada uno. “Anemona”, “Cachalote” o “Moby Dick” (nada que ver con la exhibición de John Bonham de los Led Zeppelin) son algunos de los momentos más logrados. En todos sus temas es tan importante la improvisación como la estructura sobre la que esta se desarrolla, la utilización ortodoxa de los instrumentos como la capacidad de explorar sus posibilidades sonoras.

Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

CF 279Mark Dresser Quintet – Nourishments (CF 279)
Le syndrome premier(s) de la classe menacerait-il le dernier opus de Mark Dresser ? La vélocité d’école de Rudresh Mahanthappa pourrait, dans un premier temps, le laisser croire. Passé Not Withstanding et son thème à embuscades, le quartet va adoucir ses élans et ne plus se précipiter dans l’exploit sportif. Ainsi, les thèmes emprunteront des chemins chromatiques plutôt que de s’adonner aux mélodies ductiles.   Il y aura des canevas répétés obsessionnellement, des unissons poreux et des ambiances anxiogènes. Il y aura des prouesses d’alto, un hyperpiano (Denman Maroney) troublant, un trombone (Michael Dessen) soyeux, un jazz bancal, un batteur (Tom Rainey) amant du conflit et un autre (Michael Serin) soupirant du langoureux, des entrechats trombone-alto. Et enfin, il y aura une science des tuilages, déjà croisée à de nombreuses reprises (pour ne pas dire rabâchée) mais trouvant ici sa plus belle justification.

Free Jazz review by Janus and Karl

CF 282Trumpets and Drums: Live in Ljubljana (CF 282)
Listening to free jazz while driving is relaxing, inspiring, and elevating (at least for us). Usually it is more fun if you play it loud, even if the stereos are not so great (if they are: even better). But this is not the point: the best moments are those when you drive through the city in summertime and you have to stop at traffic lights. When your car windows are open and then one of these young guys with their FIATs or BMWs has to stop next to you, listening to some crappy techno stuff (mostly male drivers) or Katy Perry bullshit. It goes Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom plus hysterical vocals. But then they realize this completely different music which comes from the car next to him or her. They look at you as if you were an escapee from a mental asylum (and that’s basically what we really are and proud to be). It makes it even worse if you give them your nicest smile.

If you want to have a similar experience one of the albums which is perfect for this is “Trumpets and Drums: Live in Ljublana”.

What we have is two trumpets – Nate Wooley and Peter Evans – and two drummers – Jim Black and Paul Lytton. Wooley has a duo with Lytton and one with Evans, Evans has worked with both drummers before. Now the result of this project is not a simple double duo but a real quartet, which means that “Trumpets and Drums” is not the typical super group you might expect, it is an aural sculpture. There’s no showing off of extraordinary techniques (something especially Evans has often been accused of), instead you get a lesson in listening and in exquisite interplay.

Nate Wooley is the one who is interested in weird sounds (he uses all kinds of material to manipulate his trumpet sound) which create a tight knit carpet on which Evans can soar like a helicopter (it sometimes actually sounds like that) with his fantastic technique. Lytton builds up a massive texture of percussion sounds as if it was raining pieces of wood, in combination with Black, who just intersperses drum sounds here and there. The first ten minutes are a real fireworks of smack sounds, extended techniques, and marvelous circular breathing solos and duos, before the band takes a deep breath with Evans and Wooley as a duo presenting a dialogue of snoring animals. Here there is a lot of scratching, creaking, gasping, panting, and fizzling, there is an enormous velocity, like musical high-speed yackety-yak (in a positive way), which raises the track to incredible peaks. At the same time all the musicians never lose humanity and tenderness, as you may listen in the central part of the composition, above a gobbledygook ventriloquism by Wooley that reconnects the chopped rhythmic phrasings, the really tender voice of Evans trumpet driving us through the obstacles.

Very welcome in the whole picture is a sober but meaningful use of electronic in the shape of lengthened low chords streams introducing a classical structure in the finale that takes place amidst trembling chirpings, damped chains and far interferences. When everything seems about to vanish a last, long, suffocating crescendo overwhelms all the possible listening directions. The musicians launch a musical screwball comedy here, throwing sounds, ideas and riffs to and fro before it ends with almost classic beautiful trumpet melodies and similar trills as in the beginning. This is maybe the greatest evidence of the success of such a peculiar instrumental amalgam. They don’t give you any choice, the only paths you can follow in the composition is theirs, no other way round.

“End”, the second track, even tops the whole thing. The first minutes find the musicians almost struggling with each other, Wooley just adding the same monotonous animal-like sound and Evans pacing around like a bee gone mad until Wooley changes his way completely, which is commented by Evans and the drummers with a march as if they were going to war. The tightened dialogue between the two trumpets, sometimes dubbing each other’s riffs, some other through violent juxtaposition, is breathless. Only a very dark electronic riff brings some relief in spite of the trumpets keeping up speed.

The music is so intense, it’s like an overheated pressure cooker which is about to burst.

We have asked ourselves why the other road users are so perplexed. Is it simply that they are not used to such sounds and compositional structures? Or is it that they are scared of the self-determination, the dynamics and the freedom inherent to this music? Are they afraid of expanding their awareness including all the implications that follow (as Joseph Chonto put it in the liner notes to Charles Gayle’s “Touchin’ on Trane”)? Or are they simply not to blame because they can’t immerge from immaturity which has been imposed on them by social structures?

Apart from all these questions it is music absolutely beautiful to listen to, the album is a constant surprise box. Just enjoy.