Tag Archives: Multiple Joyce Orchestra

Jazz.pt review by Pedro Sousa

Scott Fields & Multiple Joyce Orchestra – Moersbow / OZZO (CF 236)
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Scott Fields apresenta-nos duas obras distintas num só álbum. Na primeira faixa, de homenagem ao mestre do noise japonês Merzbow, conhecido por criar barulho a volumes extremos (pegue-se em “Green Wheels”, por exemplo), o compositor e guitarrista pede o oposto aos seus músicos: tocar o mais baixo possível. As três faixas seguintes constituem uma peça intitulada “OZZO”, a terceira de uma série de composições modulares para orquestras de câmara, no seguimento de “48 Motives” (1996) e “96 Gestures” (2001).

O trabalho da orquestra de 25 músicos equivale ao dos ensembles electroacústicos que têm sido editados pela Psi Records, a ECM e a hatOLOGY, desde Wolfgang Mitterer a Evan Parker, apesar de esta ser uma música bastante menos espectral do que a do Electro-Acoustic Ensemble do segundo. Não sem falhas: embora seja de louvar a inclusão de instrumentos como o acordeão, pouco usuais na música contemporânea escrita e na improvisada (Andrea Parkins é uma de poucas excepções), as suas intervenções deixam por vezes bastante a desejar, sendo até de gosto duvidoso, em parte porque o timbre parece insistir em não se colar com o resto dos instrumentos.

Algumas passagens de “OZZO” ganham um poder cinemático, parecendo a banda sonora de filmes expressionistas alemães (trata-se de momentos curtos, favorecendo uma espécie de desconstrução constante da melodia), ou apresentam influências da música clássica, a ponto de desvanecer as fronteiras com uma idiomática do jazz, que se encontra bastante presente no trabalho de Fields.

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Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

Scott Fields & Multiple Joyce Orchestra – Moersbow/OZZO (CF 236)
A Cologne, Scott Fields dirige un ensemble de vingt-quatre musiciens (dont font partie Frank Gratkowski, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Thomas Lehn, Matthias Schubert) et argumente sa conduction d’une fluidité exemplaire.   Ici, continuité et exploration d’une texture contenue (Moersbow en hommage à Merzbow) ; ailleurs, séparation des cuivres et des cordes avant réunion ténébreuse des deux entités ; plus loin, percées solitaires et retrouvailles en forme d’unissons salvateurs. Et dans tous les cas de figures, une justesse de ton et de forme ne s’encombrant d’aucune démonstration de force ou de virtuosité inutile.
http://grisli.canalblog.com/

Culture Jazz reviews by Jean Buzelin

Clean Feed and Intakt – Deux labels qui ne passent pas inaperçus
Ces deux labels, l’un suisse, l’autre portugais, ne passent pas inaperçus sur le site CultureJazz.fr où certaines de leurs productions sont ponctuellement passées en revue ; une petite partie seulement car la cadence élevée de leurs sorties, ajoutée à nos modestes possibilités de chroniques, ne permettent pas de couvrir la totalité de leurs catalogues. Ce qui n’empêche pas d’insister sur le fait que ces deux maisons de disques indépendantes figurent parmi les plus ouvertes, prospectives, inventives, bref, intéressantes, parmi les innombrables compagnies du paysage européen.  On leur prête peu d’attention en France car elles n’ont pas les moyens de se signaler par des encarts publicitaires, des communiqués de presse continus sur internet, et une présence insistante auprès des journalistes qui occupent le haut des médias, revues et radios. Mais cette constatation n’aurait pas vraiment lieu d’être si leurs catalogues respectifs n’en valaient pas la peine. Toutes deux ont une politique voisine : des musiques tournées vers l’avenir et la recherche, tout en restant ancrées dans l’héritage du jazz. D’où la présence, sans aucun ostracisme, de jeunes musiciens orientés vers la création, comme d’artistes confirmés dont l’œuvre s’est affirmée sur des décennies et dont la musique ne s’est jamais figée ; des artistes fidèles à la marque qui les accompagne souvent depuis des années.  Une politique éditoriale rigoureuse, une production particulièrement soignée digne des compagnies les plus prestigieuses (sic), non repliée dans un genre free music pur et dur souvent un peu passéiste, mais ouverte aux musiciens européens comme américains parmi les plus intéressants.  Nous avions présenté Clean Feed il y a bientôt quatre ans, commençons donc par Intakt, qu’anime avec passion Patrik Landolt à Zürich.

Kris Davis –  Aeriol Piano (CF 233)
Une autre pianiste s’installe derrière le clavier. C’est le premier disque en solo sous son nom de la jeune Kris Davis, partenaire de Tony Malaby, et qui a enregistré, déjà chez Clean Feed, avec Ingrid Laubrock et Mary Halvorson (tiens tiens !), un premier disque fort intéressant et très maîtrisé. Assurément, Kris Davis possède son instrument sur le “bout des doigts“, ce qui lui est nécessaire pour développer des pièces recherchées, parfois même assez expérimentales, où la qualité du son n’est jamais laissée de côté, y compris lorsqu’elle aborde le piano préparé. Tantôt vif et nerveux, comme dans le standard All The Things You Are qu’on ne reconnaît guère et qui ouvre le disque, souvent introspectif, laissant de la place aux respirations et aux silences, son jeu peut devenir très rythmique, voire répétitif dans les graves. Une musique requérant attention et respect par son exigence et sa qualité.

Thomas Heberer’s Clarino – Klippe (CF 226)
Musiciens allemands installés à New York, le trompettiste Thomas Heberer (qui a joué dans les orchestres d’Alex Schlippenbach et de Misha Mengelberg) et le contrebassiste Pascal Niggenkemper rencontrent un autre émigré, le clarinettiste belge Joachim Badenhorst. Pour ce trio “de chambre”, Heberer a écrit neuf pièces très élaborées, à la fois pensées, réfléchies, voire méditatives, mais assez cérébrales, jouant sur l’harmonie parfaite et la précision des sonorités. La musique, épurée, jouée tout en retenue, réclame une grande attention de l’auditeur qui ne peut s’appuyer sur aucun rythme ni mélodie explicites, tout est suggéré. Cela ne va pas sans une certaine froideur mais, si un certain type de swing est absent, l’articulation des discours, les timbres, les accents, inscrivent cette pratique dans le champ, certes très large, du jazz contemporain.

Gerry Hemingway Quintet – Riptide (CF227)
On remarque, dans l’histoire du jazz, de grands batteurs leaders, Art Blakey et Max Roach en tête. Gerry Hemingway appartient indiscutablement à cette lignée, dirigeant un quintette (parfois un quartette) depuis 1985 ; quintette qui dure, évolue, se renouvelle. Celui qui se présente à nous est nouveau, même s’il inclut le saxophoniste Ellery Eskelin qui a joué (et enregistré, notamment pour Clean Feed) depuis longtemps avec Hemingway. Ténor solide, qui occupa le devant de la scène il y a quelques années, Eskelin est ici en concurrence, musicale s’entend, avec le clarinettiste et altiste américano-mexicain Oscar Noriega au jeu extrêmement dynamique et vivifiant (notons qu’il a travaillé avec Tom Rainey). Une modernité mainstream parfaitement assumée : solos de guitare assez rock, rythmes puissants… Le Gerry Hemingway Quintet reste une force du jazz d’aujourd’hui.

Scott Fields & Multiple Joyce Orchestra- Moersbow / OZZO (CF 236)
Le guitariste américain Scott Fields faisait partie de la première fournée de disques Clean Feed présentés sur notre site en 2008. Il délaisse ici les cordes pour tenir la baguette et diriger, à Cologne, haut lieu des musiques contemporaines et électroacoustiques, un grand orchestre, sorte de master class qui s’appuie largement sur le James Choice Orchestra, baptisé ici le Multiple Joyce Orchestra (d’où MJQ sur la tranche du digipak !). Il ne s’agit pas d’un big band selon la formation habituelle, mais un assemblage d’instruments divers permettant la plus large palette possible. Ainsi les instruments électroniques sont-ils au premier plan dans Moersbow, pièce qui se déplace en nappes sonores, dédiée au compositeur électronique japonais Merzbow. Mais c’est OZZO, longue composition/proposition en quatre parties d’inégales longueurs, qui occupe l’essentiel du disque. Cette œuvre, qui oscille entre la free music improvisée et la musique contemporaine occidentale, provoque nombre de circulations, flux et reflux, tensions et détentes, passages et superpositions d’instruments. Pas de tempos à proprement parler, mais des interventions instrumentales qui apportent un caractère de jazzité à l’ensemble. _ Pour cela, Fields s’est appuyé sur quelques solistes réputés, comme les saxophonistes Frank Gratkowski et Matthias Schubert, son partenaire habituel, ou le tubiste Carl Ludwig Hübsch.  Au total, une musique complexe, chiadée et raffinée, contrastée et souvent délicate et aérienne (forte présence des flûtes, par exemple), qui peut laisser froid l’amateur de jazz, mais que les auditeurs curieux et sensibles aux musiques contemporaines sauront apprécier.

Notons que tous ces disques, comme l’ensemble des catalogues Intakt et Clean Feed, sont facilement disponibles chez Orkhêstra, le distributeur français indispensable.
http://www.culturejazz.fr/spip.php?article1824

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Scott Fields & Multiple Joyce Orchestra: Moersbow/OZZO (CF 236)
According to the Clean Feed website, Scott Fields wrote Moersbow/OZZO (Clean Feed 236) as two works that could be performed by at least 19 musicians, all of whom could improvise and read music. He recorded both works with a large outfit he calls the Multiple Joyce Orchestra. The CD at hand presents the fruits of that labor.

This is challenging music of an avant sort. It combines textured soundscapes, collective soloing and worked-out sequences that have a post-Braxtonian edginess at times.

No single instrumentalist is meant to dominate the proceedings. Instead a great variety of instrumental combinations come in and out of play more or less continuously.

It’s a fascinating, successful, large-scale new music recital where the jazz and open elements combine and create a sonically rich result. It may not be a masterpiece of the new music, but it most certainly makes for a welcome addition to the scattering of existing works of its kind. Well worth a hearing if you follow the latest developments in the improv/new music nexus.
http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com/

JazzWord review by Ken Waxman

Scott Fields/Multiple Joyce Orchestra – Moersbow OZZO (CF 236)
Having upped the number of musicians involved as well as the scope of his creative strategies, the newest orchestral work by American guitarist Scott Fields involves 23 players – plus him conducting – interpreting one, nearly-14-minute, and another four-part, hour-long composition. The result, recorded live in the guitarist’s adopted hometown of Köln, is satisfyingly striking, with the proviso that subsequent performances likely sounded different, considering that that the unique physical gestures used by Fields and the musicians to communicate are drawn from the American Manual Alphabet.

Chicago-born Fields, who has recorded extensively over the past three decades in configurations ranging from duets with fellow guitarists Elliott Sharp and Jeff Parker to any number of combos, has gathered some of Köln’s most-accomplished players here, many as whom are as experienced in contemporary notated music as Jazz. Among the best-known improv-wise are saxophonists Frank Gratkowski and Matthias Schubert, tubaist Carl Ludwig Hübsch, pianist Philip Zoubek and Thomas Lehn who manipulates electronics. At the same time, players from the word of composition interpretation such as flautist Angelica Sheridan bring their unique talents to the interface.

Lehn’s clicking and clanking oscillations, amplified by the computer work of Marion Wörle and Eva Pöpplein create the wavering cross tones which combine with acoustic instruments’ legato tones on “Moersbow”. Played as quietly as possible, in sharp contrast to the excessive fortissimo crunches produced by Merzbow, the Japanese noise musician after whom the piece is named, widened flute obbligatos, muted and discursive trumpet solos from Udo Moll or Matthias Mainz plus high-frequency chording from the pianist keep the salute bubbling at the mid-point between inchoate and invention.

“OZZO 1-4” is even more polyphonic and multi-tonal, with the variations encompassing every manner of pastoral and abrasive leitmotif, especially in the over-30 minute first section. With processed squeaks and voltage pops from the electronics frequently underscoring the narrative, the contrapuntal evolution includes exchanges among sul ponticello strings, a brassy lead trumpet, split tones and irregular vibrations from the reeds, and stop-time yet stentorian thumps from percussionist Christian Thomé. Meanwhile Florian Standler’s accordion flutters flit among the solid textures. Twittering and stuttering alto saxophone squeaks are framed by chromatic brass harmonies, while the flute work of Sheridan and Michael Heupel ranges from gentle to staccato. More than pedal-point time-markers, the tubas of Hübsch and Melvyn Poore are put to more extensive use with contrapuntal displays of brass beats as well as elaborating sequences divided among the two, the accordion and Tang’s walking bass. Before the first section’s climax is defined by embellished linear string motion, vibist Tom Lorenz and tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert duet on one theme variant which oozes “OZZO” closest to the standard Jazz form.

Alternating tutti and individual theme elaborations, the last section weaves strings, brass, saxophone splutters, pitch-sliding flute lines, clip-clop drumming and some computer pulsations to reach an almost tonic finale. With multiphonic contributions from a nearly all the players appear sequentially, the finale is almost pseudo-romantic.

While the particular circumstances under which the Multiple Joyce Orchestra interpreted Fields’ compositions may alter next time around, this CD is proof that the American’s skills as a composer as well as a guitarist continue to mature imaginatively.
http://www.jazzword.com/review/127700

Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

SCOTT FIELDS & MULTIPLE JOYCE ORCHESTRA – Moersbow / Ozzo (CF 236)
Clean Feed   The history behind the names of these two pieces for improvising chamber group is too difficult to synthesize here; check the liners or google around, also to learn about the various evolutions of the very orchestra’s appellative. What’s transparent is that the opening period is dedicated to Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), though Fields and his companions decided to approach the task with the sagacious expertise of a qualified ensemble paying homage to a time-honored composer rather than a Japanese noise merchant. The outcome is a superb paradigm of how to carry out a joint improvisation, the timbres so consistently interconnected in different permutations and dynamics that giving privileges to “lead” designs and distinct ideas becomes a pointless exercise. Our friendly advice is to relinquish a bit of focus and abandoning yourselves to a compelling stream of beautifully emitted music, nurturing one’s yearning for density in a collective statement without losing grip on the poetic aspects of the diverse instrumental idioms.   The first, and a sizeable chunk of the fourth movement of “Ozzo” are plain wonders, replete with fine games of call and response, tactful probing of quietness and recurring parallelisms between assorted groups (sax, accordion and strings in particular evidence, with Thomas Lehn’s synthesizer adding pinches of analogue salt and the flutists inserting small enigmas throughout). The rest is more directly reminiscent of the conductor’s style both in terms of composition and as a guitarist: minuscule cells and dissonant quirks succeed and involve, the interest maintained by the extreme unsettledness generated by the palette’s variety. With musicians of the caliber of Frank Gratkowski, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Melvyn Poore, Angelika Sheridan and Georg Wissel among the many – everybody deserving a “well done” – this live recording (Cologne’s Loft, January 2009) is as impeccable as a pre-planned studio session.
http://touchingextremes.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/scott-fields-multiple-joyce-orchestra-moersbow-ozzo/

Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

SCOTT FIELDS & MULTIPLE JOYCE ORCHESTRA – Moersbow / Ozzo (CF 236)
The history behind the names of these two pieces for improvising chamber group is too difficult to synthesize here; check the liners or google around, also to learn about the various evolutions of the very orchestra’s appellative. What’s transparent is that the opening period is dedicated to Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), though Fields and his companions decided to approach the task with the sagacious expertise of a qualified ensemble paying homage to a time-honored composer rather than a Japanese noise merchant. The outcome is a superb paradigm of how to carry out a joint improvisation, the timbres so consistently interconnected in different permutations and dynamics that giving privileges to “lead” designs and distinct ideas becomes a pointless exercise. Our friendly advice is to relinquish a bit of focus and abandoning yourselves to a compelling stream of beautifully emitted music, nurturing one’s yearning for density in a collective statement without losing grip on the poetic aspects of the diverse instrumental idioms.   The first, and a sizeable chunk of the fourth movement of “Ozzo” are plain wonders, replete with fine games of call and response, tactful probing of quietness and recurring parallelisms between assorted groups (sax, accordion and strings in particular evidence, with Thomas Lehn’s synthesizer adding pinches of analogue salt and the flutists inserting small enigmas throughout). The rest is more directly reminiscent of the conductor’s style both in terms of composition and as a guitarist: minuscule cells and dissonant quirks succeed and involve, the interest maintained by the extreme unsettledness generated by the palette’s variety. With musicians of the caliber of Frank Gratkowski, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Melvyn Poore, Angelika Sheridan and Georg Wissel among the many – everybody deserving a “well done” – this live recording (Cologne’s Loft, January 2009) is as impeccable as a pre-planned studio session.
http://touchingextremes.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/scott-fields-multiple-joyce-orchestra-moersbow-ozzo/