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Anna Högberg Attack

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

B.A.N.: Peter Brötzmann (sax), Farida Amadou (b), Steve Noble (dr)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

Fred Van Hove (p), Peter Brötzmann (sax)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/23/2019

Hanne De Backer (sax) / Paal Nilssen-Love (dr)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

Biliana Voutchkova (v), Susan Alcorn (g), Isidora Edwards (c)

Berlin, August 2019. Photo by Christina Marx

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Susan Alcorn/Chris Corsano/ Bill Nace – Live at Rotunda (Open Mouth 59/Live at #6) ****

By Phil Stringer

To begin with my conclusion: I think this is a stunning recording, which merits repeated listening. Actually, it requires repeated listening to reveal the patterns that unfold and the textures that Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), Bill Nace (guitar) and Chris Corsano (drums) develop in an energetic interplay. So far as I know, this is the first time that these three have performed together, on September 5, 2018, at Rotunda, Philadelphia. It sounds, though, as if they have frequently played together and of course, all are familiar to readers of The Free Jazz Collective. I imagine the Rotunda is a conducive environment for musicians; at least, it seem to me that the venue has made its own textural contribution.

The first few times I listened to this (the vinyl version), I realised that I was playing it too quietly. I’m not suggesting that it should be turned up to 11 (one could try) but it certainly benefits from a good turn of the dial. It start with what I can best describe as shimmer of sound announcing the three musicians who immediately establish themselves in unison: reacting, challenging, cooperating. The opening rolls into a blizzard of sound that simultaneously evokes a cognitive and a visceral response. The pattern of music that emerges is like the weather outside just now: sunshine, giving way to darkening skies and then a heavy downpour. Just when it seems the rain cannot get any heavier, the music calms to reveal the distinctive elements that each contribute. There is no recording information to indicate whether this is the whole concert or if it has been edited, In any event, side two seamlessly continues the pattern. There is a relatively lengthy passage of calm with Alcorn shimmering away then turning to staccato passages, like a beacon through the gathering rain. Corsano maintains a steady presence with Nace contributing an incessant low vibration that builds and swirls. And then, the rain arrives, the tempo and volume increases. No musician gets lost or over dominates, unless it’s in service of the music. Finally, the music ebbs again into a remarkably rhythmic finale of stutters, pedal steel melody and percussive wash. Calm arrives. We are dry and happy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Christian Lillinger - The Meinl Sessions (Plaist, 2019) ****



By Martin Schray

German drummer Christian Lillinger’s The Meinl Sessions is a 20-minute-EP based on a video shooting at the cymbal manufacturer Meinl in 2019, a company whose products Lillinger really likes. The session was produced over the course of two days: on the first day with a band and on the second in a solo setting. As a result, The Meinl Sessions is like a condensation of Lillinger's musical philosophy. The album consists of brief characteristic fragments, which display the way in which he uses structures, phrasing and articulation. The tracks are like small parts of a collage, in which ideas are only hinted at but if you consider the EP as one composition they make up a wonderful piece of art. Especially the seven "Settings", the solo tracks, are like samples which represent Lillinger’s compact language: beats, cymbal overtones, varied material applied to the instrument, complex and polyphone rhythms. He calls it "improvised beats containing several layers and countless ghost notes creating a sound behind the sound."

As interesting as the solo tracks are (which stand nicely alongside other recent solo drum albums, e.g. from Rudi Fischerlehner , Eli Keszler and Paal Nilssen-Love ), the tracks with the band are more exciting. “COR“ is a piece Lillinger also recorded with GRUND. But while GRUND is a band with seven musicians, the line-up here is reduced to drums, bass (Petter Eldh and Robert Landfermann) and synthesizer (Elias Stemeseder), which extrudes tighter, drum’n’bass-like characteristics from the composition and turns it into something which could be called weird fusion. “A.S.G.“ goes back to “Als Sozialist Geboren” from the first Amok Amor album (another Lillinger band) and again the track is full of changes and expansions, however - compared to the version of Amok Amor - it sounds like played behind a wall of fog. The saxophone (Otis Sandsjö) is more blurred, the basses are darker and more present. “Kali Koma“ is originally from Petter Eldh’s album Koma Saxo, but here it is less funky and more abstract leaving Otis Sandsjö more space for improvisation. The key track is “Plastic“, which is based on a highly complex melodic and rhythmic structure of several comprised bars. The track culminates in collective solos, through which the form gets stretched and expanded. Plasticity (or plastic) is one of Lillinger’s favourite terms representing his quest for the perfect sound.

The Meinl Sessions is a perfect introduction for beginners who want to explore Christian Lillinger’s music. It’s presents an excellent overview of his oeuvre so far because it highlights the most important ideas of his musical universe. And once you’re hooked, I promise you want to get deeper into this cosmos.

The Meinl Sessions is available as a CD and as an LP. The vinyl has been cut at half speed to prevent loss of treble frequencies.

You can buy it from the label: https://www.plaist-music.com/releases-1

You can listen to “Kali Koma“ here:

Monday, October 21, 2019

Evan Parker & Kinetics - Chiasm (Clean Feed, 2019) *****

By Stuart Broomer

“Chiasm,” from the Greek letter chi, our X, literally a “cross,” has numerous applications: it can refer to literary patterns built up of two different grammatical structures, e.g., ABBA, a device employed in Hebrew poetry and present in the Bible; also the place in the brain where the optic nerves cross; further, a crossing of tendons. Chiasm may have numerous significances here. It’s the intersection of two musical units: saxophonist Evan Parker and the younger Danish trio, Kinetics, consisting of pianist Jacob Anderskov, bassist Adam Pultz Melbye, and drummer Anders Vestergaard. The CD consists of four tracks drawn from two performances presented in that ABBA pattern: London, Part 1; Copenhagen, Part 1; Copenhagen Part II; London, Part II.

One might go further, into the multiply chiasmic structures of Parker’s music and the ways in which they arise here. Parker’s art and innovations have proceeded on two axes, one roughly horizontal, one (yes, roughly) vertical. The horizontal is linear, developmental, melodic and is typified to some degree by the tenor saxophone and his work in groups like Schlippenbach Trio; the vertical is simultaneous, multiphonic and characterized by his solo soprano performances and work with his Electro-Acoustic Ensemble and various electronic musicians (the recent Crepuscule in Nickelsdorf by Parker and Matthew Wright’s Trance Map + [Intakt] is a fine example).

The two patterns are always active to some degree (we act in time, time our opportunity and cross) but they emerge here in sometimes fascinating juxtapositions. “London Part I”, at over 18-minutes almost half of the 38-minute CD, begins with a few near-electronic sounding arco bass tones, then some looming bass notes in the piano’s lowest register, then the quartet is off, in classic free jazz mode, with Parker’s characteristic compound sound, somehow melding the woolly gruffness of Coleman Hawkins and the metallic glow of John Coltrane, his line a brilliant, expressive, pushing-ahead of unchained-if-not-unhinged melody, his partners assembling their own momentum, the current liberated point of the tenor-with-piano-bass-drums in a continuum that might be traced from Hawkins and Lester Young through Dexter Gordon, its most abstract (Warne Marsh) and visceral (Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis) forms, to Rollins and Coltrane (say with Monk) and then say Joe Henderson and Sam Rivers (the last two ideally with Andrew Hill at the piano). In the sonata curve that is, however, common to so much free jazz form, the ballad comes as an insert in the middle of a piece, and, chiasm within chiasm, Parker shifts from the dominant horizontal axis to his vertical, the ironic “timelessness” of circular breathing and fluting cyclical harmonies, before the trio takes it out with some finely turgid rhythmic emphasis in which bass and piano seem to drag themselves insistently forward while everything they do seems also to be dragging them back.

It’s at this point that the second form of the chiasm begins to appear with “Copenhagen Part I,” tenor and piano rustling in the firmament, the lines moving steadily upward with the increasingly active tenor and piano with active bass and energizing, insistent drums joining in until they find repose on a sustained note. “Copenhagen Part II” centres the tenor’s circularity, the circular breathing and the cycling patterns of the increasingly interlocking line, beneath them a rising cloud of dense bass register piano that will rise with the pattern. In the concluding “London Part II,” the music begins with a strong solo tenor moment; once joined by the band, Parker alternates the two dominant patterns, the reaching line and the circular pattern, each growing increasing in power and intensity until it concludes, things withdrawing into luminous piano tones and sparkling metallic percussion.

These movements, among two essential approaches, suffer in any verbal description, a reductive blow-by-blow making all punches equal, some just exaggerated; in practice, the segments vary in any number of ways, particularly in dynamics and kinds of interaction. Kinetics is highly responsive, often inspiring, creating a distinct group music with Parker in the process, while the editing and sequencing create another structural order, the chiasm creating a further dialogue among parts and processes.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Catherine Sikora – Warrior (self released, 2019) ****



Regardless you like or not, reviewing a solo recording can be troubling even problematic some times. Any solo recording can be revealing very personal thoughts and ideas. Those that lie on the thin line that expresses the inexpressible. There are times that I feel I am the recipient of messages that oblige me to listen carefully and respond accordingly. Putting out anything of your own (and only that) self expression is, even in today’s social media driven society of spectacle, a strong message by itself. You have to, you really want to say something. And the only suitable way to do that is by leaving no other to mediate your message that yourself.

Catherine Sikora, with Warrior, has something to say to us. I haven’t met Catherine in person or had the luck to catch her live. I live in Greece you see. We only have exchanged some emails. Warrior seems like a part of her, as it resembles some of the thoughts Catherine shared with me on those emails about her music. Warrior is about women, dedicated to the struggles of all of them in our so called modernized societies. I would dare say, once more I guess, also for the lack of them in the world of improvised music.

But do not expect Warrior to be a protest album per se. It is mostly associated with feelings coming from deep inside. Or, possibly, on the disgust for the normalization of inequality in the 21st century. Sometimes Warrior delves deep into the free jazz tradition to form, on some of the tracks a cry, as angry as possible. In other parts of this almost 40 minutes recording, the love Sikora has for melody and the blues formulates a Braxtonian bridge between instant improvisation and written material.

The symbolism of the title alone-women as warriors-is polarizing our societies today because, as always, those who are most privileged (straight white males indeed) feel most threatened by it. I wouldn’t mind if Sikora used her sax the way A. Shepp did back in the day. As a weapon for the cry of his people to be heard. Sikora’s breathing, the melodic lines she uses, even the times she instantly changes a direction, follow a more symbolic, more internal path. Instead of the, always necessary if you ask me, raised fist, there’s a gesture of a hand that touches and holds another hand. An act of unity, power and togetherness. I find Sikora’s music, and Warrior of course, through this gesture.

@koultouranafigo

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Spill - Stereo (Corvo Records, 2018) ****½

By Stef

What is the link between jazz and cats? Is it the animal's free spirit, its independence and unpredictability? Is it to do with its sense of precision and purpose? In any case, the cat staring from the cover of this album looks exactly like my cat when I was a kid.

Luckily that has no influence on my appreciation of this music, a duet between pianist Magda Mayas and drummer Tony Buck, both based in Berlin and performing as a duo since 2003. This is their third recording - next to a trio with Damon Smith on bass - and it contains two 20' minute tracks, designed for a vinyl production, called "Magnetic Island" and "Sway".

The two musicians create sound environments with pre-recorded elements from live performances with multi-speaker and multi-layered audio, on which they act and react. The music expands slowly and with precision. Despite the various layers, the texture is light and fragile. Every sound counts and has a value of its own in a larger space that still resonates with the traces of previous sounds. The calmness betrays an inherent intensity of contrast and anticipation. The variety of techniques they use to approach their instruments may be resulting in noise according to some, but in fact it's the exact opposite. It is sensual, elegant and refined. Once you immerse yourself in this beautiful and carefully crafted sonic universe, everything else will sound like vulgar noise afterwards.

We can only hope that the duo will release with a higher frequency in the future.

... and yes, they are free-spirited, independent minds with a high dose of unpredictability, as well as a sense of precision and purpose. Like cats. But you already expected this, of course.

Listen and download from Bandcamp.






Friday, October 18, 2019

Rosetta Trio - Outliers (Papillon Sounds, 2019) ****


Stephan Crump will always be associated in my mind with guitarists. The first time I saw him play was with his Secret Keeper duet with Mary Halvorsen. Admittedly I was there primarily to see how she got those squiggly bendy notes that are part and parcel of her precociously trademark sound (as a non guitarist I still didn't have a clue how she did it but she made it look real easy) but while I was doing that was also thinking "that bass player guy is pretty good". So good that I subsequently went to see his Rhombal quartet and trio with Ingrid Laubrock and Cory Smythe; in all settings he added his unique musical personality while seamlessly fitting into the group sound to the point that seeing his name on a recording puts it at the top of the must listen to pile.

So if one guitar is good then two must be better, right? Because that's what you get with the Rosetta Trio featuring Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar and Jamie Fox's electric, a group existing since 2004 which Crump formed as a one off to record material he felt strongly personally about for the Rosetta release under his name. But then the group assumed a life of its own and the guitarists began contributing works of their own and after Reclamation and Thwirl we have the current release.

If you're already enamored with the group there's plenty more to feast upon here. For those of you with an aversion to a drummerless trio of un firebreathing instruments, you might want to reconsider. The title piece, the core of which came to Crump in the back of a tour van in Europe, establishes the groove early after which the participants break away into slightly asymmetrical orbits which never escape the central gravity before finally getting back in sync. Synapse provides a scaled down arena rock feel of two guitars swirling around a propulsive bass figure, minus the drums and cacophonous volume.

When Stephan released Rhombal with a different quartet dedicated to his far too prematurely deceased brother, Patrick, it was accurately reviewed here as a joyous celebration of his life. Two songs were held back from that session specifically for this group. Dec 5 was Patrick's first birthday after his passing and the piece poignantly expresses the sense of yearning for what was lost, particularly in Fox's crystalline melodic notes. Middle March, the last time the brothers were together, is an uplifting tribute to his still vibrant spirit.

Liberty Ellman created Cryoseism, an intricate trading off of sprightly motifs by all three players, initially for Thwirl but the musicians weren't happy with how the piece had developed. Subsequent rehearsals and tours prodded and pushed it to a level they were satisfied with and here it is. That's how the entire disc is: well developed interplay between three simpatico players. Listening to it repeatedly as the weather was changing into cool autumn seemed very fitting.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Eugene Chadbourne and Henry Kaiser – Wind Crystals: Guitar Duets by Wadada Leo Smith (Relative Pitch, 2019) *****

By Nick Ostrum

First, a brief history. Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith have collaborated before, most notably on their Yo Miles! Project, as well as in various other settings. In fact, Smith had actually written “Wind Crystals” for Kaiser’s first recording for Eugene Chadbourne’s label…and the seeds of this recording were planted. Forty years later, Chadbourne and Kaiser decided to pay homage to Smith by recording several of his compositions for dual guitar/strings and rerecording the piece that started it all (with “it” meaning this four-decade triangle of on-off [and recently mostly off, it seems] collaboration).
Wind Crystals begins and ends with contending versions of the title track. The first is the 1977 version. The last, the 2017 one. The first is sparer and captures the spirit of windchimes. The second is one of the most active pieces on this album, and possibly one of the best. All sounds are acoustic, but there are times in the latter piece that I hear howls and hums amidst the frolicking dialogues. What a fine and different interpretation.

Other tracks are similarly off-kilter but focused. Pieces such as “Shabazz,” “Blue Lightning Blue,” and “Blue Case” run replete with bluesy undertones. Even more, however, they disassemble the tradition, using its pieces as a sort of spolia with which to build a new, warped edifice or sonic fragments with which to construct an aural collage. (Yes, Derek Bailey seems a major influence, though the tracks here have somewhat more melody and rhythm than Bailey ever let slip.) Other tracks, such as “Pacifica” have a twangy vibe and are in striking contrast to, but also in awkward continuity with, the version on Spiritual Dimensions. At points, they even capture the trills, runs, and even the cavernous qualities of Smith’s horn, albeit in a more sinuous, skrony, broken bluegrass sort of way.

In short, these are inventive and absolutely compelling interpretations of these compositions. If you are a fan of Wadada, I would recommend checking this out if for no other reason than to experience some of the alternate potentialities of his music. If you are a fan of Dr. Chad and the Kaiser, you already know what you are in for: craggy guitar music played to explore strings, vibrations, resonances, and spaces, rather than muffle them into something mellifluous and smooth. Even considering the catalogues of all three musicians/composers party to this project, Wind Crystals, in its dedication to the acoustic avant-garde, is really out there and a real triumph of invention, resourcefulness, and composition. One of the best albums I have heard all year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fredrik Rasten - Six Moving Guitars (SOFA Music, 2019) ****

Six Moving Guitars is the musically and conceptually ambitious debut record from composer/guitarist Fredrik Rasten. The recording was made by Rasten and five collaborators -- both musicians and dancers -- at a church in Norway in 2018. The performance is an interactive sonic exploration of the space in which it was recorded, each performer wielding an acoustic guitar tuned in just intonation, a manner of tuning wholly different than how instruments are typically tuned. A choreography is played out with the guitars, which was developed as a way to link the unique sound of the guitars in just intonation and the space they were being played in. Rasten developed material and various playing techniques that are played out by both musicians and non-musicians. This is intentional, as Rasten refers to the music as " a study in how people, without necessarily being trained musicians, can act together in a musical situation based on awareness of listening and spatial orientation."

Musically the record is filled with seemingly simple plucked and strummed guitar patterns. The six voices bounce small ideas off one another, thoroughly in conversation, and ultimately create a complex fabric of sound. It is slow moving, steady and consistent, breathing gradually and moving between sections. Before you know it the music has reached a new section, bled into from what came before it. This is music that very successfully invokes elements of Minimalism, and nearly New Age.

Rasten has created a hypnotizing, beguiling listen, both in part to the aforementioned way the music unfolds, as well as the textures coming from the non-traditionally tuned guitars. Overtones abound -- they wobble and throb, and often it is hard to place from where a sound came. There is a spareness to the recording but the sound is nonetheless full, aided in part by the waving. encompassing chordal textures.

Though separated into five tracks, Six Moving Guitars is really one long piece. Consistent throughout is the footsteps and incidental noise generated from the movement of the performers. This becomes an essential part of the recording, an element not unlike the clinking of glasses of music recorded at a club. It acts as well as a near percussive drone, shuffling under the guitars like a quiet cymbal. The pulse really only changes during the fourth piece "Running," during which the choreography seems to be the namesake for the piece, as rhythmic running steps beat quickly in time, achieving a tone different than what came before. A phasing effect is even subtly achieved, as the steps come closer and drift further from the mic. The effect is mesmerizing.

When listening to Rasten's record one may recall the music of the late guitarist Rod Poole (as well as Poole's Acoustic Guitar Trio with Nels Cline and Jim McAuley), a master practitioner of the guitar tuned in just intonation. Though of a different overall aesthetic and intention, there is indeed a comparison. Both make shimmering, ringing acoustic guitar music, that achieves a feeling of boundlessness among many sonic worlds. Rasten has released a beautiful debut record, and I'm excited to see what comes next for him.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Louis Moholo-Moholo’s Five Blokes – Uplift the People (Ogun 2018) ****


By Hinrich Julius

Louis Moholo-Moholo does not need an introduction here and still – here it is. Originally, from Cape Town he left South Africa with the racially mixed Blue Notes and finally settled in London. There he continued to play with the various bands around Chris McGregor, especially the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood of Breath. First prominence as leader was achieved with “Spirits Rejoice”, just rereleased as LP on Otoroku – a freejazz classic featuring the cream of British residing musicianship as Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Tippett, Johnny Dyani, Harry Miller and Nick Evans. He continues the tradition of the Blue Notes’ style of African melodies with free-jazz outburst until today, now with the extended name of Moholo-Moholo, which he took up after resettling back to South Africa in 2005.

This blog has featured some output of Moholo, most notably Duo-recordings with Marilyn Crispell (Sibanye – We are the one, Intakt 2008) and Wadada Leo Smith (Ancestors, TUM 2012 ). This CD rather follows the tradition of his Afro-Free recordings, which go back to recordings of the Blue Notes, e.g. the dedications to former members Mongezi (Feza, Ogun 1975), and Johnny (Dyani, Ogun 1987). Louis Moholos continued this tradition with his smaller band Viva-La-Black (Exile, Ogun 1990; Freedom Tour – Live in South Africa, Ogun 1994) and his Dedication Orchestra (Spirits Rejoice, Ogun 1992; Ixesha, Ogun 1994), and latest with his Unit For the Blue Notes (Ogun 2014).
“Five Blokes” features exactly what it states and offers a concert recording from London’s Café Oto from 2017. Five musicians who have all played together for a while. Alexander Hawkins provides rhythmic power piano with free excursion. John Edwards anchors the music with a solid bass. The two saxophones cry out the melody and scream with joy over it – Jason Yarde and Shabaka Hutchings. Everything is held together and irritated by Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums. The songs use powerful and rather simple melodies with an African feel to it introduced and sustained through unison playing, mostly by the horns. This background is used by all players taking opportunities to freak out. In this regard, the record is offering more free playing than some of the other younger records offer, e.g. For the Blue Notes. Moholo-Moholo himself provides a constant beat (without always playing it) and creates a rhythmic pulse sustaining an atmosphere of excitement.

This constant tension filled with joy is probably the most special feature of this music. I month ago I had the chance to catch the “Five Blokes” live (with Tobias Delius instead of Shabaka Hutchings) in Holland during the yearly Jazzcycle festival around Groningen ( Zomerjazzfietstour 2019 – a trip highly recommended for readers of this blog). The saxophones shout the joyful melodies, piano and bass provide a solid bass and change the roles with the saxophones while the leader on the drums succeeds in providing both stomps parallel to complex patterns reflecting joys of African pop songs and the history of free drumming. It is the latest release of Ogun records, the label that opened the ears of the world to this free-form African music since the 1970s. Highly recommended, available as CD and download .

Monday, October 14, 2019

Angles 9 - Beyond Us (Clean Feed, 2019) ****½

By Stef

You can wonder about the value of a review for an album that all fans are already aware of and cannot but appreciate. Since the band's first album in 2008, Angles have kept the same unique high level of performance, adding members from a sextet to a nonet over the years, with a trio in between. 

The current nonet are Martin Küchen on alto and tenor saxophones, Eirik Hegdal on baritone saxophone, Goran Kajfes on cornet, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Mats Äleklint on trombone, Mattias Ståhl on vibraphone, Alexander Zethson on piano, Johan Berthling on double bass and Andreas Werliin on drums. 

At the first tones of the album, you already feel that this is good. The theme is as infectious as before, the band moves as one, the vibes offer a refreshing contrast to the powerful horns, the rhythm section including the piano drive the action forward relentlessly. As said before, this is not music to be heard through headphones, but to be enjoyed in a live setting, where you are as the audience close to the action, if not part of the action. This is marching band music, this is street music, designed to be close to everyday sentiments of joy and sadness, and a little indignation to for the way things unfortunately are. This is communal music, to be enjoyed collectively. It is also political music, designed to rally the forces of the people to overthrow the unjust rulers of our society. 

But since headphones are the next best thing, you are sucked up in the action, and you feel part of something grander and more significant. 

Despite the fact that this is the band's seventh album (taking all configurations into account), the musical vision that Martin Küchen developed from the start is still entirely intact. And yes, it would be easy to identify this ensemble's sound in a blind test, even if it would be hard to say from which album, because they have stayed so close to their core concept. 

"U(n)happiez Marriages" starts with beautiful piano, in a slow very boppish mode and respective harmonic structure, leading to yet again a wonderful theme, sad and moaning, recognisable and yet so inventive, as the backbone for heartrending solo work by the trombone and the trumpet. But the even more wonderful is the freedom of all musicians to colour outside the lines, even when participating in the theme, leading to a weird sense of controlled freedom, which sets this wide apart from any form of traditional jazz, as if the imperfections and the deviations make it more real and authentic. 

"Samar & The Egyptian Winter" is dedicated to the Syrian author and journalist Samar Yazbek, and by extension refers to the refers to the Arab Spring that has been quenched by the Sissi government in Egypt and by Assad in Syria. It starts with a sad solo sax intro, leading into a dramatic theme, accentuated by the vibes. Drums and bass lay the perfect ground work for the theme played by trumpet, cornet and baritone, tearful and sad, then for the cornet to improvise over calm piano chords, arco bass and it becomes even sadder, and the when the entire band starts again with the theme, the emotions the music evokes and the empathy you can feel with the Egyptian people are brought to their zenith.  

"Against the Permanent Revolution" starts with a piano and baritone sax intro, sonically reminiscent of the Ethiopian music of Mulate Astatke, for an incredibly exuberant and jubilant piece of marching revolutionaries. The title refers to a term - permantent revolution - used by Marx and later by Trotsky to describe how the proletariat should take over power without any compromise for opposing views. What the title actually means, we should ask Küchen himself. 

The album ends with "Mali", a high energy, uptempo piece, driven by Werliin's kinetic drumming, and leading into a wild theme, that could be the soundtrack for a 70s action movie (but then of the better kind). It is a maddening romp with unexpected changes and stops, including a two-sax vamp that brings the audience to shouts, after which the other musicians join in utter chaos and according to unknown principles and directions ... the audience cheers when piano and trumpet take over and again the other instruments join, first chaotically, then the whole massive sound coalesces again into the main dubbel-layered theme, ending with a massive stop to the enthusiastic cheers of the audience. 

The performance was recorded live August 25th, 2018 at the Zomer Jazz Fiets Tour, The Netherlands.

Fun and sadness guaranteed, together with a good level of admiration for the compositional power and musicianship.