Tag Archives: Mat Maneri

Jazz.pt Best of 2014 list by Critics Poll

Os melhores de 2014

Mais um ano de crise, mais demonstrações de criatividade. Eis o balanço feito pela equipa da jazz.pt dos 12 meses que passaram, com os melhores entre os melhores e as listas individuais de quem escreve esta revista. Conclusão principal: no que à música nacional diz respeito, a colheita de 2014 foi de especial qualidade.

Melhores discos internacionais
CF306 CF302 CF301

Joe Morris Quartet: “Balance” (Clean Feed)
Vijay Iyer: “Mutations” (ECM)
Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden: “Last Dance” (ECM)
Wadada Leo Smith: “The Great Lakes Suites” (TUM)
1982: “A/B” (Hubro)
Gorilla Mask: “Bite My Blues” (Clean Feed)
Fire! Orchestra: “Enter!” (Rune Grammofon)
The Bad Plus: “Inevitable Western” (Okeh)
Marc Ribot Trio: “Live at The Village Vanguard” (Pi)
Nigel Coombes / Steve Beresford: “White String’s Attached” (Emanem)
Steve Lehman Octet: “Mise en Abîme” (Pi)
Pharoah & The Underground: “Spiral Mercury” (Clean Feed)
Daunik Lazro / Benjamin Duboc / Didier Lasserre: “Sens Radiants” (Dark Tree Records)

Melhores discos nacionais
CF295 CF297 CF312CD

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans: “The Freedom Principle” (NoBusiness)
Sei Miguel: “Salvation Modes” (Clean Feed)
Luís Vicente / Rodrigo Pinheiro / Hernâni Faustino / Marco Franco: “Clocks & Clouds” (FMR)
Nate Wooley / Hugo Antunes / Chris Corsano: “Malus” (NoBusiness)
Rodrigo Amado: “Wire Quartet” (Clean Feed)
João Guimarães: “Zero” (TOAP)
João Lencastre’s Communion: “What is This All About?” (Auand)
João Hasselberg: “Truth Has to Be Given in Riddles” (Ed. de Autor)
Coreto: “Mergulho” (Carimbo Porta-Jazz)
Bande à Part: “Caixa-Prego” (Creative Sources)
Joel Silva: “Geyser” (Sintoma Records)
Vicente/Marjamaki: “Opacity” (JACC Records)
Luís Lopes Lisbon-Berlin Trio: “The Line” (Clean Feed)
Fail Better!: “Zero Sum” (JACC Records)

http://jazz.pt/artigos/2014/12/29/os-melhores-de-2014/

Free Jazz Best of 2014

Albums of the Year – 2014
So another year and another 1500 albums considered for review (and that’s just the ones we actually added to the list!). Taking a quick look back: this year Julian, Matthew, Chris, Ed, Antonio, Stefan, Josh, and Hugo joined the review team and we recently welcomed Eyal and Alfonso – you’ll be seeing more of them soon. 2014 also saw Martin Schray bringing the Free Jazz Blog to the air on SWR2, public radio in southern Germany. His next show is on the 9th of January (stay tuned for more info on that!). Finally, thanks to all of you, we’re seeing upwards of 75,000 page views a month and have a growing subscriber base … all we can (and should) say is thank you everyone and keep listening!

And now here it is … our hotly anticipated top ten list of albums of the year, tallied and calculated from the collective’s personal top 10 album choices (listed below):

The Free Jazz Collective Top-10 albums of 2014
CF303

1.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
2.Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love – Arashi
3.Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House
4.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
5.Audio One – An International Report
6.Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts
7.Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love Duo – Lightning Over Water
8.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard
9.Wadada Leo Smith – The Great Lakes Suites
10.Jeremiah Cymerman – Pale Horse / Lotte Anker & Jakob Riis – Squid Police

Troy Dostert
CF 292

1.Steve Lehman Octet, Mise en Abîme
2.Marty Ehrlich Large Ensemble – Trumpet in the Morning
3.Franco D’Andrea Sextet – Monk and the Time Machine
4.Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (CF 292)
5.Ivo Perelman – The Other Edge
6.Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love Duo – Lightning Over Water
7.Peter Van Huffel – Boom Crane
8.Angles 9 – Injuries
9.Max Johnson – Invisible Trio
10.Audio One – An International Report

Julian Eidenberger
CF306

1.Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love – Arashi
2.Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack – … Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire
3.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
4.Anthony Braxton, Tom Rainey, Tomas Fujiwara – Trio New Haven 2013
5.Audio One – An International Report
6.Many Arms with Colin Fisher – Suspended Definition
7.Lean Left – Live at Area Sismica
8.Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
9.Yoni Kretzmer, Pascal Niggenkemper, Weasel Walter – Protest Music
10.Wadada Leo Smith, Jamie Saft, Joe Morris, Balázs Pándi – Red Hill

Matthew Grigg
CF300LPSHH 010
1.Pharoah & the Underground – Spiral Mercury/Primative Jupiter (CF 300)
2.Audio One – An International Report/The Midwest School
3.Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble – Xenogenesis II: Intergalactic Beings
4.Nate Wooley, Hugo Antunes, Chris Corsano – Malus
5.Thurston Moore, Gabriel Ferrandini, Pedro Sousa – Live at ZDB (SHH 010)
6.Peter Evans Quintet – Destination:Void
7.Broetzmann, Adasiewicz, Edwards, Noble – Mental Shake
8.Roscoe Mitchell/Mike Reed – In Pursuit of Magic
9.Jason Ajemain, Tony Malaby, Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor – A Way A Land of Life
10.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard

Chris Haines
CF306CF295  CF2941.Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
2.Sei Miguel – Salvation Modes (CF 295)
3.Eric Revis – In Memory of Things Yet Seen (CF 294)
4.Jakob Thorkild Trio – Art Sleaze
5.Tisziji Munoz – Star Worlds
6.Ken Aldcroft – Threads 10/09/11
7.Marc Ribot – Live at the Village Vanguard
8.Andymusic – Heavydance
9.Tomas Fujiwara Trio – Variable Bets
10.Tellef Ogrim & Anders Berg – November

Antonio Poscic
CF303

1.Wadada Leo Smith – The Great Lakes Suites
2.Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abîme
3.DKV Trio – Sound in Motion in Sound
4.Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts
5.Lotte Anker & Jakob Riis – Squid Police
6.Jeremiah Cymerman – Pale Horse
7.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
8.Tyshawn Sorey Trio – Alloy
9.Zion 80 – Adramelech: Book of Angels, Vol. 22
10.Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House

Dan Sorrells
CF314CF303
1.Daunik Lazro, Benjamin Duboc, Didier Lassere – Sens Radiants
2.Wacław Zimpel To Tu Orchestra – Nature Moves
3.Benjamin Duboc – St. James Infirmary
4.Zanussi Five – Live in Coimbra (CF 314)
5.Angles 9 – Injuries (CF 303)
6.Max Johnson, Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri, Tomas Fujiwara – The Prisoner
7.Keir Neuringer – Ceremonies Out of the Air
8.Jeremiah Cymerman, Evan Parker, Nate Wooley – World of Objects
9.RED Trio & Mattias Ståhl – North and the Red Stream
10.Michael Francis Duch – Tomba Emmanuelle

Hugo Truyens
CF317CF305
1.De Beren Gieren & Susana Santos Silva – The Detour Fish (CF 317)
2.1000 + 1 – Butterfly Garden
3.East of the Sun – ICP Orchestra
4.Os Meus Shorts – Os Meus Shorts II
5.Sylvain Rifflet & Jon Irabagon – Perpetual Motion (A Celebration of Moondog)
6.Baloni – Belleke (CF 305)
7.Ideal Bread Beating The Teens – Songs Of Steve Lacy
8.Franco D’Andrea Sextet – Monk and the Time Machine
9.Marc Ribot Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard
10.Sylvie Courvoisier – Mark Feldman Quartet Birdies for Lulu

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2014/12/albums-of-year-2014.html

Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

CF306Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
Les cordes s’éveillent, tâtonnent, s’effondrent (Thought). Les tempos sont mouvants, la caisse claire est lourde d’une solitude lointaine, les cordes fredonnent une élasticité brumeuse. Violon et guitares tondent le contrechant. La contrebasse bourdonne. Le matériau est flasque, amolli (Effort).

La microtonalité perdue se retrouve. La ballade ricane de son peu de tendresse. Le royaume est étendu, relâché, flottant (Trust). La contrebasse retrouve marques et racines. Tous croisent le véloce. Ça tangue, ça fourmille. Le violon strie on ne sait quel horizon (Purpose). Bienveillants, les musiciens donnent une dernière chance à la ballade. L’apesanteur aura raison d’elle (Substance). Et l’on bavarde, on soliloque, on s’ouvre à l’autre. La batterie explose (Meaning).

Ainsi s’invitèrent Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Chris Lightcap et Gerald Cleaver en un studio new-yorkais, le 13 décembre 2013. Ce n’était pas la première fois, ce ne sera pas la dernière.

http://grisli.canalblog.com/archives/2014/12/20/31176569.html

Free Jazz review by Chris Haines

CF306Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
****½
Joe Morris is probably the most important guitarist working within free music at present. He has a wealth of recordings dating back over the last three decades and has been particularly prolific with various projects during the last few years. However, for me, I always feel that he produces his most important work in his quartet format. This particular recording pulls together his string-based quartet of Mat Maneri (viola), Chris Lightcap (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and himself on electric guitar. This is the same line-up that produced the extraordinary album Underthru, and the same instrumentation as the excellent A Cloud Of Black Birds.

Joe Morris has a unique style and nobody else quite sounds like him especially when he is playing electric guitar in a more free jazz type setting, which as you would expect from this line-up is the mode of expression explored on this album. With the instrumentation that is involved the music has a chamber feel at times, particularly on the more introspective pieces such as Trust, but can be equally full-on as well. As with all good quartet writing and playing the focus is shared throughout the instrumentation and each musical personality comes to the fore right the way through the album, giving good contrast and balance to the material and the album as a whole.

All the pieces appear quite aptly titled with the first piece Thought being a complex but static texture that bubbles underneath the surface as if the ensemble is contemplating the musical excursion to come. This then moves into the second track Effort, which in contrast to the first piece contains a lot more ideas, textures and interplay. Although all tracks have single word titles I wouldn’t say that the musical pieces are summed-up by them, but rather give the listener a starting point which the music illustrates and explores further. This seems like an obvious thing to say, but I listen to so much music that doesn’t do this that when I finally hear music that does it so well it’s so refreshing to dwell on this simple fact. As you would expect from four excellent improvisers the playing contained within is a delight to listen to with Morris and Maneri being on particularly good form and shouldering the responsibility of holding down most of the foreground material.

Although showing what could be considered abstract tendencies the music seems to be contained by larger forms and alludes to fast bop-type pieces as well as ballad-like forms, chamber pieces, and free improvisations, which are all spun through Morris’s personal musical vision and incredible technique, resulting in the type of sound-world that only he can muster in this way. If you have heard his free jazz styled music before, (although Morris would consider all his music to be just ‘free music’ with no distinction) then you won’t be disappointed by Balance. If you haven’t heard a Joe Morris album before then this wouldn’t be a bad place to start, although I personally feel that Underthru just has the edge on it. However, this is a very welcome release from an important improvising musician, whom for my money works at his best within this particular format.

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2014/10/joe-morris-quartet-balance-clean-feed.html

The Big City Best of 2014 list by Bill Meyer’s

Best Jazz Albuns of 2014
Best New Releases:

1 Steve Lehman Octet, Mise En Abîme (Pi)
2 Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer, Wiring (Intakt)
CF3063 Joe Mor­ris Quar­tet, Bal­ance (Clean Feed)
4 Mark Turner Quar­tet, Lathe of Heaven (ECM)
5 Ken Thom­son and Slow/Fast, Set­tle (NCM East)
6 Fred Her­sch Trio, Float­ing (MRI)
7 Tom Har­rell, The Audi­to­rium Ses­sion (Parco Della Musica)
8 Jochen Ruek­ert, We Make the Rules (Whirlwind)
CF 2939 Kul­ham­mar, Aal­berg, Zetter­berg, Base­ment Ses­sions Vol. 2 (Clean Feed)
10 PRISM Quar­tet, People’s Emer­gency Cen­ter (Innova)

http://thebigcityblog.com/best-jazz-albums-2014/

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF306Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
****
After several albums and great synergy, guitarist Joe Morris disbanded the quartet in 2000 with many of his associates stating it was a “terrible idea.” For this reunion, the musicians’ artistic evolution surges on via a conglomeration of diminutive and soaring theme-building episodes, asymmetrical footprints, and staggered detours, instilling a continual sense of anticipation.

The gala is off to a rousing start on “Thought,” fostered by Mat Maneri’s buzzing viola passages, and the unit’s synchronous improvisational attack, as the musicians’ fluent, Johnny-on-the spot courses of action remain a constant throughout. However, they temper the pulse with the brooding “Trust,” where Morris’ dark-toned electric lines, executed with twirling flurries and intricately devised constructions, form a clustering effect atop bassist Chris Lightcap’s huge bottom. Otherwise, the band abides by a fast and furious gait as they navigate through a maze of micro-motifs, churning out cohesive statements along the way.

The quartet closes the program with the twelve-minute “Meaning,” instigated by Morris’ flickering notes; Lightcap’s linear phrasings and shrewd counterbalancing techniques. Drummer Gerald Cleaver’s textural cymbals swashes help broaden the backdrop, as Maneri rides above the musical horizon amid a fractured and twisting solo spot. Hence, the ensemble works toward a centralized focus, while gradually narrowing the overall soundscape in spots. Cleaver also imparts a sweeping solo in the bridge section, ratifying an expansive plane to complement the effervescent groove. Among other positives, Morris’ quartet is a unit you can count on for extending the limits of whatever improvisational model(s) they process, coinciding with the artists’ dynamic interactions and dizzying rhythmical measures.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/balance-joe-morris-clean-feed-records-review-by-glenn-astarita.php?width=1024

Jazz.pt review by Nuno Catarino

CF306Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
****
O novo “Balance” marca o regresso de Joe Morris ao seu quarteto dos anos 1990. A guitarra de Morris volta a contar com a companhia de Mat Maneri na viola, Chris Lightcap no contrabaixo e Gerald Cleaver na bateria. O prolongado tempo de hibernação não se faz notar e, com toda a naturalidade, a elevada qualidade dos instrumentistas acaba por encontrar paralelo na dimensão colectiva da música. Segundo Morris escreve nas “liner notes” que para estúdio levou apenas algumas ideias melódicas para a sua guitarra, deixando os seus parceiros a improvisar sem qualquer referência. A verdade é que o quarteto cedo revela uma magnífica união, sem necessidade de material escrito para encontrar a orientação comum.

Morris tem um raro som aveludado, como que vindo de outra época, mas encaixando-se na perfeição em qualquer ambiente, e até em música completamente aberta. A viola de Mat Maneri confirma tudo o que se disse sobre este ao longo das últimas duas décadas. Chris Lightcap é, sem dúvida, um dos grandes deste século. Além de inúmeras colaborações, editou o óptimo “Deluxe” na “nossa” Clean Feed. A bateria de Gerald Cleaver é capaz de uma versatilidade rítmica sem limites.

A secção rítmica não se mostra apenas sólida como também inventiva, lançando faíscas a todo o momento. Morris encontra em Maneri um companheiro à altura, fervilhante de ideias, numa parceria que emana fulgor. Entre estes quatro músicos – Morris, Maneri, Lightcap e Cleaver – a comunicação é permanente. Assistimos a um diálogo constante que faz a música evoluir de forma consistente, sem choques, com toda a segurança.

Uma das faixas mais interessantes (e algo atípica no alinhamento) é a terceira, “Trust”. Neste tema lento a percussão de Cleaver fica-se pelas vassouras, o contrabaixo de Lightcap é um eixo central (primeiro no arco, depois na pulsão como motor), a viola de Maneri deixa-se levar pela imaginação e a guitarra de Morris contrapõe notas sóbrias. Bem fez Morris ao ressuscitar este quarteto de boa memória. Desmentindo a ideia popular, nunca é tarde para se voltar aos locais onde já se foi feliz.

http://jazz.pt/ponto-escuta/2014/12/02/joe-morris-quartet-balance-clean-feed/

Free Jazz review by Chris Haines

CF306Joe Morris Quartet – Balance (CF 306)
****½
Joe Morris is probably the most important guitarist working within free music at present. He has a wealth of recordings dating back over the last three decades and has been particularly prolific with various projects during the last few years. However, for me, I always feel that he produces his most important work in his quartet format. This particular recording pulls together his string-based quartet of Mat Maneri (viola), Chris Lightcap (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and himself on electric guitar. This is the same line-up that produced the extraordinary album Underthru, and the same instrumentation as the excellent A Cloud Of Black Birds.

Joe Morris has a unique style and nobody else quite sounds like him especially when he is playing electric guitar in a more free jazz type setting, which as you would expect from this line-up is the mode of expression explored on this album. With the instrumentation that is involved the music has a chamber feel at times, particularly on the more introspective pieces such as Trust, but can be equally full-on as well. As with all good quartet writing and playing the focus is shared throughout the instrumentation and each musical personality comes to the fore right the way through the album, giving good contrast and balance to the material and the album as a whole.

All the pieces appear quite aptly titled with the first piece Thought being a complex but static texture that bubbles underneath the surface as if the ensemble is contemplating the musical excursion to come. This then moves into the second track Effort, which in contrast to the first piece contains a lot more ideas, textures and interplay. Although all tracks have single word titles I wouldn’t say that the musical pieces are summed-up by them, but rather give the listener a starting point which the music illustrates and explores further. This seems like an obvious thing to say, but I listen to so much music that doesn’t do this that when I finally hear music that does it so well it’s so refreshing to dwell on this simple fact. As you would expect from four excellent improvisers the playing contained within is a delight to listen to with Morris and Maneri being on particularly good form and shouldering the responsibility of holding down most of the foreground material.

Although showing what could be considered abstract tendencies the music seems to be contained by larger forms and alludes to fast bop-type pieces as well as ballad-like forms, chamber pieces, and free improvisations, which are all spun through Morris’s personal musical vision and incredible technique, resulting in the type of sound-world that only he can muster in this way. If you have heard his free jazz styled music before, (although Morris would consider all his music to be just ‘free music’ with no distinction) then you won’t be disappointed by Balance. If you haven’t heard a Joe Morris album before then this wouldn’t be a bad place to start, although I personally feel that Underthru just has the edge on it. However, this is a very welcome release from an important improvising musician, whom for my money works at his best within this particular format.

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2014/10/joe-morris-quartet-balance-clean-feed.html

Enola.be review by Guy Peters

Als je de gemiddelde kwaliteit van de Clean Feed-releases buiten beschouwing laat, valt nog altijd op hoe divers het aanbod van het label is. Het is niet enkel een thuishaven geworden voor een resem Amerikaanse muzikanten, maar biedt een dwarsdoorsnede van de avontuurlijke scène in Portugal en ver daarbuiten, tot in Scandinavië. Het is ook een label dat in verhouding veel meer releases uitbrengt van vrouwelijke artiesten dan veel vergelijkbare labels. Lag de focus vorige keer nog op Angelica Sanchez, Sara Serpa en Lotte Anker, dan zetten we die combinatie van een Amerikaanse, Portugese en niet-Portugese Europese muzikante nu verder met Kris Davis, Susana Santos Silva en Sophie Agnel.  

CF 268Kris Davis – Capricorn Climber (CF 268)
De verwantschappen tussen Sanchez en Davis zijn te opvallend om te negeren. Ze komen beide uit regio’s die je niet meteen met avant-garde jazz associeert (Arizona en… Canada), ze kregen beiden ongeveer een decennium geleden voet aan de grond in New York, ze hebben iets met saxofonist Tony Malaby (voor de ene is het een echtgenoot, voor de andere een van haar meest frequente speelpartners) en brengen hun recentste werk als (co-)leider uit via Clean Feed. Na twee albums met Paradoxical Frog, een trio met Ingrid Laubrock en Tyshawn Sorey, en de uitmuntende soloplaat Aeriol Piano (2011) is de kwintetplaat Capricorn Climber de zoveelste release van Davis bij de Portugezen.   De line-up leest als een who’s who van de New Yorkse scène, met Ingrid Laubrock (tenorsax), Mat Maneri (altviool), Trevor Dunn (bas) en Tom Rainey (drums). De muziek laat voortdurend horen hoe troebel de grens tussen compositie en improvisatie soms is, met stukken die niet alleen heel divers zijn – tussen het bedwelmend mooie “Bottom Of A Well” tot het Henneman-achtige pointillisme van opener “Too Tinkerbell” tot het jazzier “Pass The Magic Hat” –, maar vooral ook ruimte laten voor individuele schittermomenten. Zowat alle bandleden krijgen regelmatig een platform om hun subtiele kant te laten zien, net als hun vertrouwdheid met tricky timing, complexe melodieën en soms ongrijpbare structuren. Met z’n zestig minuten is Capricorn Climber wat minder behapbaar dan het compacte Aeriol Piano, maar het biedt voldoende gelegenheid om te proeven van Davis’ persoonlijke stijl.  

CF 272Sophie Agnel, John Edwards & Steve Noble – Meteo (CF 272)
De klassiek geschoolde Agnel is dan weer een nieuw gezicht op het label. Wordt ze doorgaans vooral opgemerkt in het bijzijn van continentaal-Europese figuren uit de vrije improvisatie (Axel Dörner, Jerôme Noetinger, Daunik Lazro, etc), dan laat deze knappe liveregistratie haar horen in het bijzijn van twee ronkende namen uit Engeland. Bassist John Edwards en drummer Steve Noble hebben een lange voorgeschiedenis en zijn zowel thuis in robuust heen-en-weer-gehamer en swingende grooves als in complex puzzelwerk. Hier starten ze aanvankelijk in hypnosemodus, met ruisende cimbalen en gestaagde ronkende bas die Agnels al even sterk tegen de drone leunende muziek ondersteunen. Haar handelsmerk – een voorliefde voor inside piano en attributen – komt ook meteen naar de voorgrond in een performance die aanvankelijk in het verlengde lijkt te gaan liggen van Eve Rissers mantra En Corps, maar al snel een geheel eigen smoel krijgt.   De drie maken een golvende improvisatiebeweging die weinig concrete aanknoopmogelijkheden biedt, maar je zou ook kunnen zeggen dat deze muziek toegankelijker is dan die van Kris Davis. Krijg je bij die laatste voortdurend te maken met composities die steeds een andere gedaante aannemen, steeds opnieuw verborgen hoeken en kantjes ontbloten, dan wordt je hier blootgesteld aan een beweging die zich afspeelt op een meer intuïtief niveau, die focust op de aard van het gebruikte materiaal en het klankonderzoek dat eruit voortvloeit. Met een ritmesectie zoals deze blijf je echter gespaard van rigide experimenten, want Edwards en Noble zijn meesters van de dynamiek, die moeiteloos meekunnen in het verhaal van kleine geluidjes, en dat soms ook doen met een kletterende potten- en pannenstijl, maar de boel ook levendig houden. Het enige dat er nog aan ontbreekt na die rit van bijna veertig minuten is het (weggeknipte) applaus.  

CF 275Lama + Chris Speed – Lamaçal (CF 275)
Het Lama Trio – trompettiste Susana Santos Silva, de in Nederland gevestigde bassist Gonçalo Almeida en drummer Greg Smith – maakte in 2011 al het knappe Oneiros, waarin moderne jazz, vrije improvisatie en elektronica een subtiel verbond aangingen. Net als die plaat start Lamaçal met elektronische effecten, al verdwijnt snel de vrees dat alles bedolven zal worden onder allerhande manipulaties, want het trio weet ook in naakte vorm indruk te maken. Met de Amerikaanse rietblazer Chris Speed (tenorsax/klarinet) erbij verbreedt het bereik zonder dat er een abrupte koerswijziging plaatsvindt. De muziek beweegt zich van meet af aan tussen statige, soms dromerige composities (“Overture For A Wandering Fish”) en materiaal dat een sterkere stuwing heeft en bonter gekleurd is (de titeltrack).   Het mooie is vooral hoe de vier de platgetreden paden weten te vermijden. Er wordt gespeeld met kleurrijke diereneffecten (“Moby Dick”), zonder dat het een auditieve dierentuin wordt, er wordt aangeleund tegen de pop (afsluiter “Manta” met z’n knappe baswerk) zonder dat het voorgekauwd spul wordt, en in stukken als “Cachalote” en “Pair Of Dice” wordt het allemaal wat bruisender, gaat het energieniveau omhoog, zonder dat het écht openbarst. En het is net die ingehouden spanning, dat suggereren zonder helemaal mee te gaan in die verwachtingen, dat van Lamaçal een album maakt dat steeds opnieuw weet te boeien en aan te spreken. Bovendien beschikt Santos Silva, die voortdurend in de weer is met klankverschuivingen en regelmatig overschakelt op de kloekere bugel, over een imposant bereik en klankkleur.
English translation:
The Lama Trio – trumpet player Susana Santos Silva, Rotterdam-based bass player Gonçalo Almeida and drummer Greg Smith – already came up with the excellent Oneiros (2011) in which modern jazz, free improvisation and subtle electronics forged a subtle union. Just like that record, Lamaçal starts off with electronic effects, but there’s no fear of being covered in loads of manipulations, as the trio convinces with naked purity as well. With American reed player Chris Speed on board, they broaden their reach without enforcing radical changes. The music sways from stately, sometimes dreamy compositions (“Overture For A Wandering Fish”) to material that introduces more force and color (title track).
It’s especially intriguing how these four succeed in avoiding the obvious. They play with colorful animal sound effects (“Moby Dick”), but don’t turn into an animal freakshow, they come close to pop territory (closer “Manta” with its delightful bass playing) while avoiding generic soft stuff, and in pieces like “Cachalote” and “Pair Of Dice”, is als gets more sprightly, as the energy levels go up without really exploding. It’s exactly this tension, those suggestions that rarely become explicit, that turn Lamaçal into an album that stays intriguing and fascinating. On top of that, Santos Silva, who’s constantly playing with subtle sound shifts and sometimes switches to the sturdier fluegelhorn, demonstrates an impressive reach and mastery over tonal variety.

CF 281Susana Santos Silva & Torbjörn Zetterberg – Almost Tomorrow (CF 281)
Het meer experimentele spelen met geluid dat de trompettiste al liet horen op Lamaçal krijgt een veel prominentere plaats op de duoplaat met de Zweedse bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg, die al een paar keer op het label te horen was aan de zijde van rietblazer Jonas Kullhammar. Deze release werd rond Nieuwjaar opgenomen in Zweden en draagt sporen van de besneeuwde winter. Niet enkel door het zwart/witte artwork en de foto’s van onder sneeuw bedolven landschappen, maar ook door het intimistische samenspel van de twee. Hoewel het duidelijk is dat de muzikanten hier en daar werken met gecomponeerd materiaal, zoals in de knappe titeltrack en “Nötskalsmusik”, waarvoor Santos Silva een bedwelmend mooi stuk laat horen op bugel, voelt het allemaal erg vrij en ongedwongen aan.   Een groot deel van het album zoekt het bij minder traditionele expressie. De trompettiste ademt, zuigt, ruist en slurpt op haar instrument, om later iets agressiever te werk te gaan, met abrupt gespetter. Zo is “Feet Machine Song” meteen wat radicaler dan de trance-achtige opener en belandt ze met “Head Distortion Machine” en “Falling And Falling And Falling” op het terrein van Nate Wooley, een universum waarin de manipulatie en het creëren van die kleine geluidjes uitvergroot worden en centraal komen te staan. Er komt veel gekraak, geruis en gegrom aan te pas, maar gedoseerd en van knap weerwerk voorzien door Zetterberg, die nergens de neiging heeft om het allemaal vol te stouwen. In “Columbus Arrival In Här Jedalen” heeft het zelfs iets van de even bezwerende als ongepolijste schoonheid die Okkyung Lee en Peter Evans ooit in elkaars bijzijn lieten horen. Lamaçal en Almost Tomorrow tonen alleszins meerdere gezichten en facetten van een van de boeiendste jonge trompettisten van het moment.
English translation:
The experimental sound effects that were already hinted at on Lamacal are given a much more prominent role on her duo album with Swedish bass player Torbjörn Zetterberg, who’s also a bit of a Clean Feed regular and appeared a few times besides reed player Jonas Kullhammar. This release was recorded around New Year’s Day in Sweden and betrays signs of a snowy winter. Not only because of the black/white artwork and the photos of landscapes covered with snow, but also because of the intimate interplay of these two artists. Even though they use composed material a few times, like in the terrific title track and “Nötskalsmusik”, on which Santos Silva plays the flueguelhorn in an intoxicating way, it all feels free and spontaneous.
A large part of the album switches to less traditional modes of expression. The trumpet player breathes, sucks, rustles and slurps on her instrument, turning to more aggressive techniques later on, with abrupt spattering. “Feet Machine Song” feels more radical than the trance-inducing opener and with “Head Distortion Machine” and “Falling And Falling And Falling”, she’s entering the kind of territory a player like Nate Wooley also delves into – a universe where manipulation and the creation of ‘little’ sounds become enlarged and central. There’s a lot of creaking, rustling and humming, but well dosed and contrasted nicely by Zetterberg, who luckily refrains from turning it into a bombastic exercise. In “Columbus Arrival In Här Jedalen”, they even reach a kind of magnificent and unpolished beauty that is somewhat reminiscent of what Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans once created. Lamaçal and Almost Tomorrow show multiple facets of one of the most interesting young trumpet players of today.
http://www.enola.be/muziek/albums/22294:de-vrouwen-van-clean-feed-2–kris-davis-sophie-agnel-a-susana-santos-silva

Jazzthetik review by Christoph Wagner

CF 268Kris Davis – Capricorn Climber (CF 268)
4 Sterne
Die kanadische Pianistin Kris Davis hat sich in den letzten Jahren auf der alternativen Jazzszene in Brooklyn einen Namen gemacht. Selbst Pianostar Jason Moran ist voll des Lobs für die Vielseitigkeit und das Talent seiner Klavierkollegin, die sich auch schon als Arrangeurin profiliert hat. Mit ihrem Quintett hat Davis jetzt ein Album vorgelegt, dass die ganze Bandbreite ihrer Begabung zeigt.

Davis hat eine Musik entworfen, die sich am Klang der Gruppe als einer Einheit orientiert. Solistische Exkursionen stehen selten im Mittelpunkt, immer geht es um die kollektive Gestaltung von Stimmungen und Atmosphären, die gelegentlich etwas grüblerisch ausfallen. Erstaunlich ist, dass sich die Bandleaderin dabei selbst am meisten zurücknimmt. Lieber läßt sie Mat Maneri eine Improvisation auf der Viola spielen oder gesteht Trevor Dunn ein Baßsolo zu, bevor sie einmal zu einer Pirouette auf der Tastatur ansetzt.

In ihren Kompositionen kann es zu ekstatischen Ausbrüchen in Freejazz-Manier kommen wie im Titelstück “Capricorn Climber” oder zu träumerischen Elegien wie in “Bottom Of A Well”. In seiner verhangenden Melancholie greift dieses Stück atmosphärisch in die Sphären der “Zweiten Wiener Schule” aus, die Davis aus dem Effeff kennt, hat sie doch ursprünglich klassisches Piano studiert. Andere Stücke grooven in vertrakter Manier oder besitzen einen untergründigen Swing, über dem sich knifflige Melodienlinen der verschiedenen Instrumente ineinander verschlingen

Kris Davis versteht es ausgezeichnet, mit dynamischen Abstufungen, Klangfarben- und Tempowechseln sowie rhythmisch gebunden bzw. freien Sequenzen für Spannung zu sorgen. Nie werden die musikalischen Mittel effekthascherisch eingesetzt, vielmehr herrscht immer die Absicht vor, sie in ihrer Substanz zu erkunden.  Mit Tom Rainey am Schlagzeug, Trevor Dunn (Kontrabaß), Ingrid Laubrock (Saxofone) und Mat Maneri (Viola) hat Davis ein kompetentes Team aus erfahrenen Musikern zusammengestellt. die sich nicht mehr beweisen müssen, sondern sich ganz in den Dienst ihrer Musik stellen.

Mit diesem exzellenten Album macht Davis klar, dass sie zu den interessantesten Vertretern der neue Generation von New Yorker Jazzmusikern zählt. Mit ihr wird in Zukunft vermehrt zu rechnen sein.