Eric Boeren 4tet – Song for Tracy the Turtle (CF 186)
A dedicatária poderá ser uma tartaruga (na capa aparece um cágado) mas o espírito que paira sobre as águas do charco é o de Ornette Coleman. A formação – corneta, saxofone, contrabaixo e bateria – é a dos quartetos “clássicos” de Ornette, há três temas e meio de Ornette circa 1960 e os temas originais de Boeren são afins dos do Mestre.
No tema-título, um swing descontraído alterna com bulhas de cães e gatos, no tema de fecho, o solo de Boeren evoca uma gata no cio. As intromissões de outros animais são bem-vindas, já que tartarugas e similares são animais pouco faladores. A Tracy ganhou um disco que equilibra ingenuidade retro-bop e traquinice free, quase sempre com um sorriso zombeteiro, mas que revisita “Memories of You” de forma sentida.
Eric Boeren – Song for Tracy the Turtle (CF 186)
Ornette Coleman è sempre stata la fonte di ispirazione dichiarata per Eric Boeren e per la sua cornetta. In particolar modo lo è l’Ornette degli inizi o, per meglio dire, del periodo reso immortale dai dischi pubblicati dall’Atlantic.
Anche questo album, ricavato dalla registrazione radiofonica di un concerto che si era tenuto a Bruges alla fine di maggio del 2004, si trova ad essere a cavallo fra la musica di Ornette e il buon free europeo che si è sviluppato nel Vecchio Continente sin dagli anni sessanta. In realtà questo concerto era andato a finire nel dimenticatoio ma è stato poi riscoperto, un po’ per caso, grazie ad un vecchio compagno di scuola che incrociò Eric ad Anversa a fine settembre del 2008. Il tutto è raccontato in maniera divertente dallo stesso Boeren nelle note di copertina.
Il repertorio mischia sapientemente brani originali di Boeren (comunque ispirati ad Ornette e a Don Cherry), brani di Ornette Coleman e uno standard immarcescibile e romantico come “Memories of You” del pianista Eubie Blake. Al fianco di Boeren troviamo l’ottimo Michael Moore col suo sax alto e il suo clarinetto decisamente poco ornettiani, ma allo stesso tempo perfettamente inseriti nel contesto, il bravo bassista Wilbert de Joode e il veterano batterista Paul Lovens, sempre pronto a fornire il suo geniale apporto ritmico alle situazioni free europee più interessanti.
La presa di suono è decisamente buona e il quartetto si esprime con il giusto mix fra abbandono e lucidità che caratterizza i concerti più riusciti. C’è una sorta di straniamento di prospettiva dovuta probabilmente al fatto che Eric Boeren è un cornettista alla testa di un gruppo che si rifa ad un quartetto storico guidato invece da un saxofonista dalla forte personalità. Ma questo è solo un dettaglio che non provoca alcun decadimento nella qualità complessiva.
A bunch more good jazz (or whatevah) records
Back to the Clean Feed stack…
Eric Boeren – Song for Tracy the Turtle Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 (CF 186)
Dutch cornetist Eric Boeren’s Song for Tracy the Turtle – Live at Jazz Brugge 2004 is a disc that fairly wallows in its Ornettitude, and that’s a good thing. You have to go back to Old and New Dreams to find a band as imbued with the spirit of the pre-Dancing In Your Head Coleman units as Boeren’s 4tet. Not only do they cover four, count ’em, _four_ classic-but-not-overdone O.C. compositions (“Mr. and Mrs. People,” “Free,” “Moon Inhabitants,” and “The Legend of Bebop”), they also essay Ornettish originals, replete with hummable, bluesy unison heads, like “A Fuzzphony” and “Soft Nose.” Boeren individuates most when he blows a muted horn, while Michael Moore shines on both alto and Eb clarinet. Departures include the amorphously open-ended title track (which kicks off the set), and the lovely laments “Memo” and “Memories of You” (the latter a Eubie Blake composition, of all things). I’ll also admit to being a sucker for CDs with pictures of turtles on the cover, especially when executed as exquisitely as Clean Feed’s sleeves always are.
TGB – Evil Things (CF 181)
Perhaps recent listens to Bob Stewart with Arthur Blythe’s ’70s “tuba band” put me in a receptive mood to hear Evil Things by TGB, a tuba-guitar-drums power trio (I do believe the acronym stands for the Portuguese spellings of the instruments’ names). On tuba, Sergio Carolino is an agile soloist; at times, listening to his rides is an experience akin to watching a portly man doing handsprings and cartwheels. Guitarist Mario Delgado is equally splendid on acoustic, electric, dobro, and fretless instruments (dig his taffy-pull long tones on the latter instrument on the curiously bluesy “George Harrison”). His range is represented by the material the trio covers, which ranges from proto-metal (Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” and Deep Purple’s “The Mule,” which serves as a segue out of whirlwind drummer Alexandre Frazao’s solo on “Nameloc”) to country-jazz (Hank Garland’s vehicle “Close Your Eyes” starts out as a tango before erupting into surf-ska frenzy). The program runs the gamut from Gateway Trio-style exploration to Red-era King Crimson menace (there’s even a little grindcore Cookie Monster vocalismo from Paulo Ramos on “Aleister Crowley”). A stunning surprise.
Carlos Bica – Matéria Prima (CF 180)
Delgado’s also a key element on two bassplayer-led sessions. On Labirinto, Dave Hollandesque bassist-composer Carlos Barretto leads a trio, Lokomotiv, with the guitarist and drummer Jose Salgueiro. Delgado explores more tones and textures than the average guitar-slinger would think to in the course of a single session, reinforcing the impression of himself as a European Nels Cline, while the trio reminds you of everything you liked about fusion and ECM back in the ’70s. Leader Barretto’s arco work is particularly gorgeous. Carlos Bica’s Materia Prima opens with the surf-blues of “D.C.” — with a riff straight out of Jimi’s “Voodoo Chile” — before settling into a program of very stylish chamber jazz that includes covers of tunes by Marc Ribot (another discernable influence on Delgado) and Ry Cooder. Bica’s own compositions are moody, atmospheric soundscapes that evoke cinematic images, like John Zorn at his best.
Posted in CD's, reviews
Tagged Alexandre Frazão, Carlos Bica, Eric Boeren, Joao Paulo, João lobo, Lokomotiv, Mario Delgado, Matéria-Prima, Matthias Schriefl, Michael Moore, Pal Lovens, Sergio Carolino, Wilbert DeJoode
Carlos Zingaro / Dominique Regef / Wilbert DeJoode – Spetrum (CF 110)
A group made up entirely of strings might initially suggest chamber music, but this all-European trio produces music that crosses many boundaries, not so much to create music that’s eclectic but to define its own terrain. Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro is a well-known exponent of free improvisation while the bassist Wilbert De Joode has served as foundation in a broad spectrum of Amsterdam-based bands from jazz to free improvisation. But what most defines this group’s original sound is the presence of Dominique Regef, the French master of the hurdy-gurdy (or sanfona or vielle à roue, other names offered on this CD) or wheel fiddle, a medieval form of violin played with a wheel that functions as a bow. Exploiting the instrument’s drone string and employing some novel playing techniques (there are rhythmic patterns that sound like a playing card in a bicycle wheel), Regef provides plenty of sonic stimulation to Zingaro and De Joode as well as some adept improvisations.
Divided into three long tracks, the first begins with a curiously poetic prelude in which sounds that approximate a classical ensemble tuning up suddenly drift to light, wispy sounds and then fall silent. It’s almost a putting to rest of some string conventions. The longest piece, the 25-minute “Spectra 02,” begins with Zingaro archly melodic in a startlingly vibrant upper register while De Joode plays sudden arpeggios and Regef creates a “bee-loud glade,” a dense buzzing drone. If the opening would sound at home with one of the Bartók violin concertos, that intensity transmutes time, eventually creating a vibrating sonic world. It’s not one you’d necessarily associate with the practices of free improvisation, but summons up a primal village music that seems to stretch across a lost century, fusing Persian and Indian influences through North Africa into Spain and the rest of Europe. It’s a sound that is local and universal, primeval and contemporary. It’s the kind of brilliant result that can only arise in the spontaneous encounter of strong musical personalities. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=34306
Carlos Zíngaro / Dominique Regef / Wilbert DeJoode – Spectrum String Trio (CF 110)
The string trio featured on “Spectrum” isn’t of the orthodox chamber improv variety, though they certainly get to the woody textures, slashes and serrations, and microtonal materials that I can’t resist. What’s distinct is not only the presence of Regef’s unpredictably deployed hurdy-gurdy (drones are anything but a constant here) but the personalities of the players, less given to creating echoes of Bartok or Ligeti and more likely to create chorales out of non-melodic materials: squeals, cries in the dark, or animal mewling. Regef’s electric razor buzz in the opening minutes of “Spectra 02” is superb, cutting across and into the sounds generated elsewhere (contrasting particularly effectively with the melancholy lyricism from the violin). The piece gathers itself up into a fulsome drone that lasts for some time, and it recalls Terry Riley more than contemporary electroacoustic stuff. The players seem to excel in hesitancy, with pauses and rests being as prevalent throughout as are dizzying passages of threeway skitter-shriek. De Joode is an expert in navigating these almost tentative territories, as his long-standing employer Ab Baars seems to favor these in his trio. But he also makes his instrument improbably graceful, without ever coming across like he has cello-envy. Zingaro (I’ve no idea about the quotes on the surname, by the way) is the imp here, double-stopping and always on the verge of some fireside reel. The most caustic and dense piece is the closer, with considerable mimesis among all three (but particularly de Joode and Zingaro). It proba¬bly works better live, but it’s still satisfying. As is often the case with these kinds of sessions, the tracks are rich feasts best sampled—at least to me—one at a time. They’re each quite provocative, and filled with compelling details and ideas.
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