Click here to [close]

Monday, September 15, 2008

Papajo - Simple Game (CJR, 2008) ****

An album of pure improvisation by three reputed musicians of the avant-garde scene : Paul Hubweber on trombone, Paul Lovens on drums and John Edwards on double bass. In contrast to many avant-garde music, this one is a good illustration of restrained freedom : there is no rhythm or melody or structure to speak of, but the collaborative effort of rapidly interacting snippets of sound, challenging each other and moving on, is extremely well done. The approach is absolutely minimalistic, with the three musicians extracting even the tiniest of sounds out of their instruments, but to maximal effect. Imagine a canvas with little dots of paint here and there, without specific order, but each dot is nice, and the little dots work well together in this otherwise totally open universe, and sometimes these dots of sound seem a little surprised they exist, yet they seem to enjoy it. There are some intense moments too, when the three musicians interact in nervous and agitated conversation, without alienating listeners (at least not this listener). This is certainly no background music, but music requiring concentrated attention, and an almost zen-like state of mind. Don't resist it. Just let it happen to you.

© stef