Tag Archives: Peter Van Huffel

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/

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Free Jazz review by Paul Acquaro

CF302Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
****
The second track, ‘What?!’ is a heart-stopping, hard-hitting, kind of feels-good-even-though-it-kind-of-hurts type of thrash-jazz-rock, which is all fine and good if you have stuck around after the first track ‘Chained’ peeled some skin off your face. It’s Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – a heavy jazz trio from Berlin and their latest album, Bite My Blues, recorded mostly live, has been burning holes through my earbuds for a while now. It seems that each time I press play, powerful blasts of energy jolt me anew.

While Van Huffel’s alto sax channels fiery from the gut playing most of the time, there is also a great deal of melodicism in his playing. Between the typically short and catchy heads, his fierce playing arcs with electricity. The track ‘Fast and Furious’ is a good example – a couple of minutes into the tune there is a pause and drop in volume that gives the track a chance to change gears from blistering to reflective only to quickly return to even more blistering.

Van Huffel’s band mates are Roland Fidezius on bass and Rudi Fischerlehner on drums. Their accompaniment is an indispensable element to the album – the energy and forcefulness is kept in check by a mindful and subtle restraint that helps focus the lightning strikes. They have an extended interlude on ‘Skunk’ that showcases their rapport and a good display of their power can be seen in the track ‘Z’. The track’s stuttering rhythmic drive propels Van Huffel’s slightly overblown lines further and further, while at the same time holding it all back just enough to make the release mid-way all the more satisfying.

My only complaint, if you can call it a complaint, is that this is a beast of an album, it’s a thrill to take in all at once, but it may leave you a bit fried! Highly recommended.

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2014/10/peter-van-huffels-gorilla-mask-bite-my.html

freiStill review by Andreas Fellinger

CF302Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
Verzerrte Tieftonmonster, bis die Hypnose greift, stampfende Patterns und rollende Sticks, und darauf, dazwischen, überall: entfesselte Melodien, melodische Entfesslungskunst. Der Ur-Ottensheimer und langjährige Berliner Rudi Fischerlehner (Rupp/Müller/Fischerlehner, Fiium Shaarrk, …) an den Drums und Bassist Roland Fidezius (The Aquanomics, CallMeCleo, …) legen Brett nach Brett, Sprungbrett nach Sprungbrett für das oft und zurecht gerühmte Altsaxofon des Kanadiers Peter Van Huffel (House Of Mirrors, Boom Crane, …). Treibender Rockblues, impulsiv und tight, schleudert Free Jazz durch die Luft, dessen Ausdruck – egal ob schwebend oder exaltiert – nachvollziehbar bleibt und dadurch mitreißt. Das sich verausgabende Blasinstrument steht klar an der Spitze der Soundformation, Van Huffel ist der solierende Kapitän, dessen Besatzung ihm nichts als Steilvorlagen liefert. Diese Live-Aufnahme aus Toronto fängt ein stimmiges Set ein, mit reichlich starken und einigen großartigen Momenten. Bei Broken Flower etwa blüht passagenweise Schönheit auf, die an die wunderbaren Ruhephasen auf Throat von Little Women erinnert. Und die Abschlussnummer Z birgt eine Wende, die dem Auditorium so plötzlich die vielzitierten Schlapfen auszieht, dass es bis zum Ende der Platte nicht merkt, dass es vor fünf Minuten barfuß gegen die Wand geklatscht wurde. (steroid)

http://freistil.klingt.org/

Jazz.pt review by Gonçalo Falcão

CF302Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
*****
Descobrir novos caminhos para o punk através do jazz pode parecer um absurdo, mas na verdade é por aqui que podemos pegar neste disco. O “powertrio” de Peter Van Huffel tem a energia e a intensidade do punk rock e alarga-as através das improvisações do saxofone. Esta é uma banda capaz de dar um estalo na cara daqueles que esperam pela vida como quem espera pelo metro ou por um abaixamento de impostos.

Estão em campo duas ideias diferentes. Por um lado a repetição tribalista, surgida no rock com Bo Diddley, em que os instrumentos são percutidos e a guitarra é um tambor que acentua o ritmo, e por outro a enorme capacidade melódica que ouvimos nos Ramones. E enquanto a banda arrasa a sala com o seu poder rítmico, o saxofone navega naquela hecatombe em solos lindíssimos que nunca perdem a carga nem a espontaneidade.

Dave Wayne descreveu, no texto que acompanha o disco, o som de Huffel como «o tom cavernoso de Arthur Blythe com a euforia repetitiva de David S. Ware» e eu não consigo fazer melhor. Parece uma descrição científica. O disco do trio alemão foi gravado ao vivo em Toronto e capta com vividez toda a força e energia do grupo e a sua capacidade de improvisar.

A música deste trio de jazz faz muitos grupos de rock parecerem o Noddy: alarga o cérebro, empurra-nos para a frente. É fortíssima e muuuuuuito boa, mesmo quando adopta formas do jazz clássico (“Fast & Flurious”). A Alemanha gosta dos extremismos e neste caso ainda bem, pois este jazz cru, cheio de rock, suburbano, adolescente, prova que o destino destina mas nós também temos de fazer por isso. Não há caminhos, há que caminhar.

http://jazz.pt/ponto-escuta/2014/08/24/gorilla-mask-bite-my-blues-clean-feed/

Time Out review by José Carlos Fernandes

CF302Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
****
As coordenadas definidas no CD de estreia mantêm-se neste registo de dois concertos no Canadá, com o sax de Peter van Huffel, o baixo eléctrico (frequentemente distorcido) de Roland Fidezius e a bateria de Rudi Fischerlehner a triturar o que lhes aparece pela frente com a insolência com que King Kong esmagava os aeroplanos que lhe esvoaçavam à volta.
“Chained” é uma máquina malévola à desfilada que se desarticula a meio do trajecto e fica a descrever círculos obstinados, como um robot avariado, até que retoma a cavalgada rumo ao Juízio Final; o tema-título é um blues exaurido, que se arrasta por um pântano de pez e enxofre; “Z” começa em registo marcial e desemboca num ritmo brutal, mais afim de Rage Against The Machine do que de Count Basie.

Jazz da Gama review by Raul da Gama

CF302Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
Peter van Huffel Gorilla MaskWhen the late Lewis Thomas, geneticist and essayist, had listened to Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony, he was struck by the sense of disenchantment—even doom—he seemed to feel relating the symphony to the prospect of destruction due to war that seemed to plague modern society. That, it bears remembering, was during the Vietnam war, which America was embroiled in. Today’s death by terrorism seems to inform much modern music as it did not only the prospect of Mahler’s 9th, but also the music of the roaring 60’s. While Peter van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask’s recording, Bite My Blues may not sense doom, it certainly—like the protestations of African American 60’s music—suggests disenchantment. Even in the sense of desperation of the destruction of nature, which is suggested by the sardonic name of the ensemble, the music of dissonance and atonality marked by the compositions on this recording would appear to be de rigueur. The screaming of Mr. Van Huffel’s alto saxophone, the mighty groans of Roland Fidezius’ bass and the incessant rattling of the drums, and the snap and crackle of the cymbals and other percussion at the hands of Rudi Fischerlehner would suggest that something of that order is going on in the soulful depths of this trio. This makes for music that is not only beautifully terrifying, but significant as well.

Mr. Van Huffel is an accomplished alto saxophonist. His roaring, wailing voice is informed by influences as far removed as Igor Stravinsky is from Eric Dolphy. But the saxophonist’s a voice of marked individuality. In the exquisite excesses of wild glissandos and mournful vibrato is a virtuoso who is mindful of every note he chooses to play. Sometimes it takes an elegiac song such as “Broken Flower” to make that patently obvious. But somehow Mr. Van Huffel can also exhibit great courage and skill in the rapid and desperate-sounding structures and motifs that inform such fare as “Chained” and “Bite My Blues,” both rather powerful reminders that sometimes even many notes in a phrase can be raw and beautiful. And Mr. Van Huffel is not the only one doing this although he is the lead voice of the group. His terrific bassist Roland Fidezius and his drummer Rudi Fischerlehner are up to the task of making the sound of the group not only vociferous, but voluminous and appropriate to the music in a meaningful manner.

Gorilla Mask continues to pit the socio-political aspects of contemporary musical art against the very nature of sound itself. The ensemble did that on an older album, Howl. AN investigation into the musical values of this ensemble reveals thus not only raw virtuosity on the part of the players, but also a deep sense of commitment. While the end chart, “Z” might not be overtly a picture of impending doom, it is loud and dissonant enough to suggest that all is not well with the world—both musical and otherwise. For this and other reasons Gorilla Mask and the music they will continue to make will demand growing listenership and more serious thought as the ensemble develops further into the future.

http://jazzdagama.com/reviews/cds/peter-van-huffels-gorilla-mask-bite-my-blues/

Something Else! review by S. Victor Aaron

CF302Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Bite My Blues (CF 302)
Peter Van Huffel’s primal scream therapy outlet is called Gorilla Mask, a thrash metal jazz trio we previously summarized as bringing “both the Brötzmann and the Black Flag together into a tidy, compact package.” Immediately following the alto saxophonist’s Boom Crane project with Michael Bates and Jeff Davis, Van Huffel again turns to a different rhythm section of Roland Fidezius (electric bass, effects) and Rudi Fischerlehner (drums) for getting his ya-ya’s out.

Bite My Blues (currently on sale via Clean Feed Records), picks up where the debut Howl! left off, delivering primordial outbursts with a hardcore punk body and an out-jazz engine. Performed live — the only way to play this — in front of a Toronto audience, it’s a set devoid of ballads and rich in bombast.

Fidezius’ thrumming bass kicks off the punk-minded “Chained” where Van Huffel reels off a series Arabic-styled lines before going off the rails. But group improv is always in play here as the bass riff changes and Van Huffel adjusts accordingly, finding a repeating figure as things settle down before band regroups for an encore of the thematic bass riff.
Managing to insert yet more ethnic music into this cauldron of doom, the main vamp of “What?!” is Slavic madness, and Van Huffel’s shrieks here can jolt you out of any slumber. As song moves into solo section, Fidezius’ bass emerges with fonky pedal effects and Huffel goes berserk. “Skunk” introduces itself with math-y head that’s really more bebop than math rock, and a bass solo almost immediately follows with no discernible meter. Van Huffel re-enters and it’s improv city, getting louder, faster and more urgent, a quick return to the head and just like that, they take the song out. A snarling, nasty-assed two note bass riff hovers over most of “Bite My Blues,” as Van Huffel emits harrowing, long notes and climaxes with an ear piercing solo before a return to the riff.

The glacial, three-note vamp of “Broken Flower” calls to mind Miles’ Bitches Brew-era “Feo,” but the three collectively move off of it to go exploring with building intensity before returning home. “Fast and Flurious” bears little resemblance to the version performed on Boom Crane until the comedic theme appears two-and-a-half minutes in. And finally, the distorted bass lines matches to the staggered beat of Fischerlehner’s drums, morphing into an “Immigrant Song” type of groove about halfway in, sending Van Huffel on his way. Eventually, things deconstruct into free form, culminating in tension release and a return to that groove.

Bite My Blues is madness, but there’s a method to this madness. Van Huffel sets the parameters wide, encouraging flexibility amongst everyone and it works, because everyone is so attuned to everyone else. From a punk attitude comes jazz aptitude; Gorilla Mask does it again.

http://somethingelsereviews.com/2014/06/24/peter-van-huffels-gorilla-mask-bite-my-blues-2014/