Thursday, July 17, 2008

Angles - Every Woman Is A Tree (Clean Feed, 2008) ****½

Magic from Sweden, published in Portugal. This Swedish band consists of Johan Berthling on double bass, Kjell Nordeson on drums, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Martin Kuchen on alto sax, Mats Aleklint on trombone and Mattias Stahl on vibraphone. The band brings a strong anti-war album here, and an ode to women in war-time, the "trees" that hold the families together. The music has this unbelievable combination of energy, melodic beauty and emotional sensitivity. Some of the tracks are wonderful, and possibly among the best I've heard this year. The opening track starts with arco bass, followed by dramatic and sad alto sax, with the vibes offering the right supportive touches, then the rhythm instruments move into a unison theme, opening the floor for the rest of the band to join in the sad melody. The bass also has a long intro for the second track, now on pizzi, for another wailing and tearful theme by the rest of the band. The title track is brilliant, with a strong and sweeping melody, very moving and heartfelt, offering lots of possibilities for expansion, and played in a wonderful African call-and-response mode, including percussive polyrhythmics and a staggering trumpet solo by Broo. And the next piece is great too, starting with a gut-wrenching sax solo by Küchen over a slow and bluesy rhythm, which offers the right background for the ensuing vibe and trombone solos. Those who know Küchen and Nordeson from their work with Exploding Customer will find similarities in the music, albeit less joyful here of course, and richer because of the additional instruments. The music is rhythmic, melodic, with a clear structural approach of theme, improvisations and back to theme, although a little more sophisticated than I describe it. But compositional power is one thing, the major achievement is in the performance itself, which is warm, sad and wonderful. A great album.

Listen to
Peace Is Not For Us
Don't Ruin Me

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef

5 comments:

wojtek said...

Stef
This is rhetorical question.How in the world this CD didn't get five stars? It should get it for the title track alone.I think AEC would sound like that if Lester Bowie was born in Stockholm haha.Anyway,great review as always.Take care

stephane said...

what wojtekl said.

stef said...

Thanks for the comments. I really hesitated for a while to give it five stars. Then I didn't. What can you do?

stef

Anonymous said...

I bought this album recently and I enjoy every minute of it! Really wonderful! :)

Anonymous said...

Three others by Kuchen,from 2010, should not be missed:

On ,Another Timbre-
Kuchen
Rowe
Wright

Solo(Mathka)-Kuchen-"The Lie And The Orphanage"

"Vinter"( Creative Sources )4tet-Kuchen w Ernesto Rodrigues, Guillermo Rodrigues, Carlos Santos

Bill