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Monday, December 15, 2008

Federico Ughi, Gene Janas, Daniel Carter - People's Resonance (577 Records, 2008) ****

On the first piece of this album, "Talk in Play, People On Mercy", you will hear a rare wall of sound created by two acoustic instruments : Federico Ughi's drums and Gene Janas' bass. For close to nine minutes they bury every aspect of quietness under an avalanche of rhythmic power and relentless drive, over which Daniel Carter's sax wails expansively and fiercely. The second track, "Flowers Reach Clouds", starts quietly, with subtle percussion and flute, free and open, floating like clouds in the sky, fully breaking open when Carter switches to trumpet, increasing the tempo a notch, but not too much, increasing the drive and the fire, and when Janas (of the Brooklyn fire-jazz band Owl Xounds) switches to arco, Carter goes for his sax, while all the while Ughi's relentless many-armed drumming channels the trio into musical rapids and leading them through it. The real treat, however, is the last long track, "Protecting Cosmos", in which Ughi's drumming keeps his unbelievable energetic power, full of polyrhythmic pyrotechnics, with Carter and Janas at the start sounding as if they're accompanying a drum solo, but then Ughi slows down and gives the space to Carter and Janas, who keep things pretty meditatively open. But guess what? Ughi can't stand the silence, he can't stand the quiet, and in he comes again in full force, like a percussive pandemic, pushing the two others on, and on, and on. Half-way the track Carter starts with a rhythmic theme, boppish, with even a discernible repetitive pattern in it. Ughi calms down at times, allowing Janas to come in with some walking bass, and Carter to further explore his very expansive spiritual soloing, that evolves into fierce blowing as the rhythmic storm picks up momentum again. I am not sure how they're "protecting the cosmos", but they're sure as hell creating one. This is free jazz from the old school: raw, expansive, powerful and magnificent.

Listen and download from CDBaby.

© stef