Tag Archives: Igal Foni

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Adam Lane Returns with a Rather Stunning “Ashcan Rantings”

Adam Lane Full Throttle Orchestra – Ashcan Rantings (CF 203)
Adam Lane is not only one of the superb bassists of his generation, he is also a formidable composer and bandleader. The latest edition of the large Full Throttle Orchestra and the new 2-CD set Ashcan Rantings (Clean Feed 203) shows all of this in abundance. Full Throttle is a kind of mini-big band with seven horns, bass and drums. Nate Wooley and Taylor Ho Bynam on trumpets and reedmen Avram Fefer-Matt Bauder are probably the best known of the lot, but everybody plays an important role in the proceedings.

Basically the music on this fine set has an out-front Lane as the effectively weighty anchor for all that transpires. There are wonderfully voiced horn lines, spirited ventures into straight-eight, swing, balladic choral, and freetime feels and arrangements that set off and balance the solos in a near-perfect symbiosis.

Everyone clicks, everything works and Mr. Lane gives us an album that exemplifies what contemporary jazz is all about when it’s done right: it’s in turn exciting, accomplished and both well-conceived and in-the-moment. If you buy only ten jazz albums this year, this might well be one you should include on your list.
http://gapplegateguitar.blogspot.com/

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

Adam Lane’s Full Trottle Orchestra – Ashcan Rantings (CF 203)
****
O novo CD da Full Throttle Orchestra (FTO) é uma desilusão. Não me interpretem mal: é um bom disco. Só que, depois de No(w) Music (Cadence) e New Magical Kingdom (Clean Feed), da FTO não se esperam “bons discos”, mas música que deixa o ouvinte virado pelo avesso e um pouco chamuscado. “Full throttle” significa “a todo o gás” e o septeto do contrabaixista Adam Lane, uma improvável síntese de Charles Mingus e Sonic Youth, estava à altura do nome. As expectativas para Ashcan Rantings eram altas, pois a FTO, inteiramente renovada, alinha agora os trompetistas Nate Wooley e Taylor Ho Bynum (quantos grupos podem dar-se a este luxo?), os saxofonistas Matt Bauder, Avram Fefer e David Bindman, os trombonistas Tim Vaughn e Reut Regev, e o baterista Igal Foni, tudo músicos de elite, quase todos líderes dos seus próprios grupos e quase todos representados no catálogo da Clean Feed.

Todavia, raramente a música de Ashcan Rantings atinge a intensidade, densidade, urgência e tensão das perorações de outrora. E não há virtuosos dos sopros que possam substituir a guitarra vitriólica de John Finkenbeiner, que era um alicerce do som da FTO. Também a escrita de Lane perdeu em foco e originalidade e não é coincidência que os melhores temas do novo disco sejam material “antigo”: “House of Elegant” vem de No(w) Music, “Ashcan Rantings” e “Lucia” foram escritos para o projecto 4Corners. Nas notas do CD, Lane explica que passou a delegar parte da direcção da FTO nos músicos, durante as secções improvisadas – e conclui-se que a democracia participativa deu em frouxidão. Acrescento uma hipótese para explicar a perda de gás: a de Ashcan… ter sido gravado por um grupo “ad hoc”, talentoso mas sem as necessárias horas de rodagem em conjunto.

Goddeau review by Guy Peters

Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra – Ashcan Rantings (CF 203)
2010 is aardig op weg om een freejazzjaar te worden dat in het teken staat van de middelgrote bezettingen. Angles deed het als sextet (en klonk als een big band), Eisenstadt deed het al met een nonet op Woodblock Prints en ook Lane’s vers samengestelde Full Throttle Orchestra laat zich nu kennen als een negenkoppig monster dat erin slaagt om een waanzinnig hoog niveau aan te houden.

Ashcan Rantings is een dubbelcd. Dat is vaak een goeie indicatie van overmoed of overdaad, maar de consistentie van deze schijfjes, samen goed voor een kleine honderd minuten muziek, is ronduit indrukwekkend. Van het orkest waarmee Lane No(w) Music (2001) of New Magical Kingdom (2006) opnam is intussen niemand meer overgebleven, maar de band die hij hier heeft ingeschakeld is wel van een heel bijzonder kaliber. Er werken niet minder dan zeven blazers aan mee, stuk voor stuk jonge talenten die bijna allemaal gerekend worden tot de grootste virtuozen op hun instrument: saxofonisten David Bindman, Avram Fever en Matt Bauder, trompettisten Nate Wooley en Taylor Ho Bynum en trombonisten Reut Regev en Tim Vaughn. Verder zijn er dan nog Lane op bas en Igal Foni (meneer Regev) op drums.

Lane laat in de aanstekelijke liner notes al een en ander los over zijn aanpak, die uiterst virtuoos de grens tussen compositie en improvisatie bewandelt, een grens die weinig bands zo boeiend weten te houden. Daarbij wordt doorgaans een beginstatement gemaakt, waarnaar vaker wordt teruggegrepen, ook op het einde. Daartussen zitten ritmische en/of melodische cellen, die gebaseerd zijn op die thema’s, en waarop de solisten hun ding kunnen doen. Ze kunnen inkleuren, maar ook bijsturen en zo de hele band een andere richting laten inslaan. Klinkt allemaal erg abstract en theoretisch, maar daar valt niets van te merken: Aschcan Rantings is een album dat vooral opvalt door zijn coherente sound en stijl, door zijn eenheid en niet te stuiten flow.

Alles wordt meteen duidelijk vanaf “Imaginary Portrait”, dat van start gaat met een statige aanzet met en knap arrangement dat haast van Eisenstadt had kunnen komen. Opvallend ook wat een enorme klankkleur er in deze bezetting schuilt en hoe zorgvuldig die geluiden op mekaar gestapeld worden. Dat spelen met en variëren op kloeke ’thema’s is ook iets dat we al bij Angles hoorden, maar hier gebeurt het allemaal iets verfijnder en gedoseerder. Er wordt misschien net iets minder geteerd op het buikgevoel en de blote emotie van de Scandinaven, maar ook hierin zit er soul, groove, voel je de blues, de swing, de humor en de joie de vivre. Dit is levende muziek die voortholt met een grijns, zowel in de collectieve stukken als tijdens de solomomenten, die er in overvloed zijn van alle betrokkenen.

Regev laat meteen horen hoe ze er in slaagt om een notoir moeilijk en stug instrument als de trombone toch te doen dansen. Daartoe krijgt ze ook de kans in het erop volgende “Marshall”, meteen een van de hoogtepunten van de plaat. Het begint allemaal erg melancholisch, triest zelfs, met slepend klarinetwerk van Fever, maar dan komt dat kernthema en ga je pas compleet voor de bijl door die filmische meeslependheid, die spanning opdrijvende baslijn van Lane, die Ellington in slow motion. Muziek uit een imaginaire film noir: verleidelijk, donker en sexy. Bindman steekt er een mooie solo in, maar het is Regev die met de pluimen mag gaan lopen als het contrast tussen haar solo en het slinks teruggekeerde thema zorgt voor een ondraaglijke spanning. Machtig mooie muziek levert het op.

En eigenlijk kan je àlle songs afgaan, van het trompetduel in “Desperate Incantantions”, tot de forse aftrap van “House Of Elegant” (ook al te horen op het album uit 2001) — al de songs hier hebben hun momenten. De eerste twee nummers van CD2 (de titeltrack en “Lucia”) waren al eerder te horen op het 4 Corners album (met o.a. Ken Vandermark), maar worden hier gepresenteerd in nog sterkere versies met grotere dynamiek. Mooi om te zien dat er heel coherente statements volgen en dat er toch eentje is die afwijkt van de regels: zijn negen songs tussen 8 en 12 minuten lang, dan haalt “Mahler”, het enige stuk zonder solo’s, niet eens de helft. En afsluiten wordt dan weer gedaan met “Bright Star Calypso”, een song met een verrassend hoge popfactor die zonder schaamte kiest voor melodische pracht en in al z’n aandoenlijkheid haast doet denken aan het werk van Bill Wells met Mahar Shalal Hash Baz.

Hoewel het duidelijk een andere en meer verfijnde plaat is dan Epileptical West van Angles, valt toch op dat je een vergelijkbaar evenwicht tussen traditie en avontuur, tussen souplesse en kracht, tussen klasse en emotie krijgt voorgeschoteld. Ashcan Rantings laat horen dat Lane een uitstekend componist is, eentje die zich bovendien heeft omringd met een enorm getalenteerd zootje, dat van dit dubbelalbum een meeslepende reis gemaakt heeft waar de spelvreugde voelbaar vanaf spat. Eentje om in te lijsten.
http://www.goddeau.com/content/view/8292

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra – Ashcan Rantings (CF 203)
*****

Wow, what an album! From the very first notes, you’re sucked into jazz history, full of Africa, full of blues, with the interplay and the soloing of the highest level throughout. Adam Lane writes in the liner notes that “this is fun music, designed to uplift the spirit and bring the listener and performer to a more joyful place than they (we) were before”, and believe, it more than delivers on that objective.

The band is Adam Lane on bass, Avram Fefer on alto sax, David Bindman on tenor and soprano sax, Matt Bauder on tenor and baritone sax, Igal Foni on drums, Reut Regev and Tim Vaughn on trombone, Taylor Ho Bynum and Nate Wooley on trumpet.

The themes are compelling, starting with funeral march-like first piece, “Imaginary Portrait”, with African influences as on “Marshall”, or Ellingtonian as on “Nine Man Morris”, but the blues is all-pervasive, with great highlights in the quieter parts, as on the duet between Lane and Nate Wooley in the first piece, or Lane’s intro to “Desperate Incantations”. Despite the composed parts, the larger part of the music is improvised, over structural and rhythmic cells. Two of the compositions, “Ashcan Rantings”, and “Lucia” already figured on Lane’s “Four Corners” CD.

The solos are wild at times, bringing the music far beyond any concept a big band might have, with sometimes two or three musicians overlapping. giving expansive and expressive power to the already strong drive and pulse.

Lane himself is in full control of what is happening with his bass underpinning everything without limiting the band. The sound quality of the bass is absolutely exceptional too, with a kind of forefront presence that works really well.

The great paradox about this magnificent music is like the blues itself : it sounds so sad and melancholic at moment, so sweeping with “weltschmerz”, sometimes so full of distress and anger, but the totality is so deeply emotional and full of joy that it’s hard to describe. Lane’s gut-wrenching and heart-rending intro of the title track says it all. The only piece that is joyful by itself is the last one, “Bright Star Calyspo” (sic), which collapses into wild and rhythmless soloing, before bringing the album to its great finale.

And it all fits, and there are no weak moments, not in the compositions (some of them, like “Mahler” will stick to your brain for a while), not in the interplay, not in the soloing. And you get your money’s worth on top with this double-CD’s more than ninety minutes of absolute musical delight. Adam Lane knows and feels and lives music. So far, all of his albums were among my favorites of the year, but this one is superb.

Man, man, man – this is music I will still listen to with joy in a couple of decades and recommend to my great-grand-children. (They will for once stop listening to the electronic rhythmic bleeps that some new device will integrate directly in the auditory part of their brains, they will for once stop being totally disinterested in the ashcan rantings of their great-grandfather and listen in awe to the great acoustic music of the past).

Highly recommended.
http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.com/

Jazz.pt review by Tiago Morgado

Luís Lopes, Adam Lane, Igal Foni – What is When (CF 146)
****
O guitarrista lisboeta Luis Lopes iniciou a sua formação musical no Hot Clube de Portugal, mas foi do rock que partiu. Em “What is When” faz-se acompanhar de Adam Lane e Igal Foni, o primeiro um contrabaixista e compositor de excelência que vê em Duke Ellington, Karlheinz Stockhausen e Melt Banana as suas maiores influências e o outro um menos conhecido baterista de Israel que lidera os Genious Goalkeeper.
A primeira faixa do álbum, “Evolution Motive”, funciona quase como um manifesto, com uma dupla dedicatória a Darwin, o teórico do evolucionismo, e a Sonny Sharrock, praticamente o único guitarrista do período áureo do free jazz. É como se nos fosse dado um plano de identificação formal, normativo e simbólico. As referências estéticas são muitas, na perspectiva do avant-jazz, mas buscando contactos com os blues eléctricos, o punk e até a música contemporânea. No tema de abertura, a guitarra entra com um ostinato que vai sendo explorado e desconstruído continuamente. Em “Spontaneus Combustion”, Lopes Trabalha com Texturas de carácter pontilhístico, com o contrabaixo a assumir, num tradicional registo em pizzicato, a predominância a nível do discurso musical, a bateria surgindo apenas com pequenos apontamentos. A estrutura é mais próxima da estandardizada e tem um registo de free jazz, com secções de exposição do tema intercaladas com desconstruções do mesmo. A coesão entre os três elementos é evidente e o modo como funciona a nível de interactividade entre os instrumentistas confere um carácter único à música. “Cerejeiras” arranca com um solo percussivo de métrica livre e quebrada, num jeito quase “ad libitum”, entrando a guitarra de seguida, com motivos de carácter essencialmente tonal-modal, para depois Lane tocar harmónicos com o arco segundo técnicas sul ponticello, pouco frequentes no jazz. O contrabaixo caminha para bordões cada vez mais dissonantes, explorando os recursos do instrumento. “The Siege” faz-nos lembrar algo próximo da música de grupos como Melt Banana, ou mesmo Zu. O nível de sofisticação sobe e se neste tema as conotações são mistas de punk e free, em “Street Clown Girl” as influências da música erudita contemporânea tornam-se óbvias. Regra geral, os músicos dirigem-se progressivamente para um clímax, ao qual sucedem situações mais calmas. Em “Melodic 8” começa o contrabaixo, com Adam Lane a recorrer a “loops”, depois entra Foni e finalmente Lopes, que ganha predominância solística num registo de monodia acompanhada. A nível de tensão e de forma, há um certo carácter de simetria. Em “Chichi Rides The Tiger”, já quase um cartão de visita do contrabaixista americano, essa tensão é cumulativa. Até estilisticamente, indo de um jazz “old school e “straight” para algo no cruzamento com o rock. O final é um dos pontos altos do CD, com um discurso tenso, profundo e arrojado.

Cadence Magazine review by Grego Applegate Edwards

Luis Lopes / Adam Lane / Igal Foni – What is When (CF 146)
“What is When” is a rather exceptional guitar trio. Guitarist Luis Lopes is a new one for me and he is a player of great interest. He tends to play on the outside and alternates between a dryly electric and a high impact straight tone. Beefheartian guitarists, Sharrock in his early period and Ulmer in his outer moments are touch points in describing his style, but only as rough approximation, for he has a distinct bag. Adam Lane goes far in making this a formidable lineup. Arco or pizzicato, he makes a strong contribution with his all-over playing attack and keen sense of drama and momentum. The drummer is new to me but is very musical and capable of Free Swing-Rock inflected outness and open-timed assaults with definite taste. The pieces have good variety and nothing comes near to outwearing its welcome. Some could even have been expanded without undue wear and tear on the listening ear. Just a couple of highlights will suffice to give you an idea of the music. Take “The Siege.” It begins with bass and distorted guitar doing some original sounding, abstract but Rock fused motifs that the drums follow. Then the guitar gets out in a fanfarish, notely way while Lane’s bass blasts a distorted line that has deep resonance and the drums freely rock without a beat or pulse. This is powerful. Now Adam goes it alone with distorted chaos and really digs into it. Then back to the head while Lane flips out! “ChiChi Rides the Tiger” has a swinging head with a densely rhythmic, minor bluesy line all participate in, then a funky riff in seven and off to a guitar solo against the riff for the bass and drums. Lopes plays some nice guitar. He’s not big on chops but what he plays is right and conceptually out with Rock overtones and a dry distortion. I’d much rather hear that than just super technique for its own sake. He’s got big ears and plays out in interesting ways—with distorted chords and bends while bass and drums rock out boisterously in seven. The piece signs off with some vintage Hendrix-like feedback. The album concludes dramatically with a blazing Adam Lane in “Perched Upon An Electric Wire.” It’s Lane alone, riveting the listener with a strongly droned bass sawing. It is a stunner of an ending. This is very easy to recommend. What is When is a cornerstone release among the outside guitar trios I’ve heard of late.
©Cadence Magazine 2010 www.cadencebuilding.com

All About Jazz Italy review by Vittorio Lo Conte

Luis Lopes – Adam Lane – Igal Foni – What is When (CF 146)
****

La Clean Feed si conferma label di riferimento per la musica d’avanguardia. Di solito pubblica lavori di musicisti americani. Ma ci sono diverse, e meritevoli, eccezioni, come il sassofonista Rodrigo Amado e – in questo caso – il chitarrista Luis Lopes, che troviamo alla guida di un trio internazionale insieme al contrabbassista statunitense Adam Lane e al batterista israeliano Igal Foni.

I tre mischiano con intelligenza punk, free, freefunk, rock, con l’energia della chitarra prepotentemente in primo piano in un paio di brani. Ma non mancano atmosfere di insolita poesia, in brani come il lungo “Cerejeiras,” che procedono sghembi su percorsi che delineano una storia raccontata a bassa voce. È uno dergli aspetti del trio, che subito dopo, ad esempio in “The Siege,” riprende a riversare colate di lava su chi ascolta. Un’energia primordiale, un modo rozzo ed allo stesso tempo raffinato (i brani sono costruiti con logica ed i musicisti conoscono bene i percorsi intrapresi) di interpretare il trio per chitarra e ritmica.

Quel che colpisce di più è che con le loro sonorità distorte sono in grado di raccontare qualcosa, più innamorati di quello che vogliono dire che del suono in quanto tale. L’avanguardia nelle loro mani acquista un volto familiare, che nelle sue tante sfaccettature ha quel qualcosa di particolare che sveglia il senso uditivo dell’ascoltatore.
http://italia.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=4664

Music Jazz review by Alessandro Achilli

LA CLEAN FEED RIVELA GEMME DAL PORTOGALLO

L’etichetta portoghese continua a dare spazio al free e alla musica d’improvvisazione tra Europa e America, perseguendo un’estetica coraggiosamente fuori tempo ma preziosa; e, a conferma della sua vitalità, tutt’altro che uniformi sono le proposte della casa.

LOPES-LANE-FONI: «What Is When» (CF 146CD)
In questo recente gruppo di uscite troviamo per esempio un trio chitarra-basso-batteria formato dal portoghese Luís Lopes, dall’americano Adam Lane e dall’israeliano Igal Foni, nel quale il materiale di base è fornito dalle composizioni dei primi due su cui si struttura un’improvvisazione decisamente irruenta.

DANIEL LEVIN: «Live At Roulette» (CF 147)
C’è poi un quartetto cameristico riunito dal violoncellista Levin, che scrive tutti i canovacci su cui l’intero gruppo sviluppa trame strumentali estremamente controllate, dove nessuno soverchia o suona mai contro l’altro; in questo senso, esemplare risulta la capacità d’ascolto e la disciplina dei complici del leader, il trombettista Nate Wooley, il vibrafonista Matt Moran e il bassista Peter Bitenc.

TRESPASS TRIO: «…Was There To Illuminate The Night Sky…» (CF 149CD)
Infine, nel Trespass Trio è l’estetica free a prevalere, la logica espressionistica del grido accompagnata da una buona dose di sdegno civile (in questo caso, contro la spirale del terrorismo e della guerra innescata nel mondo dall’11 settembre 2001). Qui il leader, che firma tutte le composizioni, è il sassofonista svedese Martin Küchen, che ha una voce acida e graffiante al contralto e sviluppa invece al baritono un cupo rombo di tuono capace di mettere fisicamente a disagio; con lui, Per Zanussi al contrabbasso e Raymond Strid alla batteria, che ne condividono etica ed estetica.

Signal to Noise review by Jason Bivins

Luís Lopes / Adam Lane / Igal Foni – What is When (CF 146)
Portuguese guitarist Luís Lopes came to some listeners’ attention on last year’s Humanization Quartet release. With a highly quirky style­ – small squiggly lines, elastic phrasing beyond or behind bar lines, and an occasional mischievous noisiness – he struck me right away as an original. This powerful trio date confirms that and then some. He’s got a Blood Ulmer thing happening in a big way, specifically the Blood Ulmer of Revealing, as he cuts against the fertile counterlines of bassist Adam Lane and drummer Igal Foni. But he remains very much his own man, and I love his idiosyncrasies, especially his weird habit of doing little rubbery spasms, like his guitar is spring-loaded. I hear more attention to dynamics on this release, as on the twitchy “Evolution Motive” and the rousing “Spontaneous Combustion.” There’s also considerable sonic range, as when Foni and Lopes trade instruments on the brief, computery-sounding hiccup “Eufoni” before the trio roars into the distorted majesty of “the Siege.” More of this with tiny noises from tiny toys on “Street Clown Girl,” which lurches forward, as Lopes moves from delicate pick-taps near the pickups to spidery lateral movements. There’s also some serious soulfulness, and I attribute a lot of this to Lane, whose playing on “Melodic 8” recalls the great Fred Hopkins, and who is key to the resolute ballad “Cerejeiras,” where the dark clouds from his distinctive and exquisitely controlled arco set the table wonderfully. Foni is a fantastic, varying timbre as often as he does tempo, a trait that works well with Lopes, whose furtive gestures sometimes avoid pulse; elsewhere, as on the exultant reading of Lane’s “ChiChi Rides The Tiger,” the drummer digs in energetically.

Jazz Review review by Glenn Astarita

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. http://www.jazzreview.com/cd/review-20673.html