Friday, March 13, 2009

Trinity - Breaking The Mold (Clean Feed, 2009) ****

With all the respect I have for the Clean Feed label, when I put on this record, I thought, "no, not again", when listening to violent saxes annex electronics, wondering why all this is necessary, even if the album starts quite slowly and relatively quietly, eery and gloomy. But as you grow accustomed to the band's approach (if that's achievable), the quality of the music increases. Again some Scandinavians doing strong things : led by saxophonist Kjetil Moster, the band further consists of Morten Qvenild on keyboards, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Thomas Stronen on drums. So it starts in an interesting way, with plaintive wailing sax against a background of organ, bass, drums and electronics. Slowly the long piece moves into a more tense mode, with organ and sax reacting to each other in small bursts of sound, with interspersed electronics and then, well... all hell breaks loose, as you might have expected. The second, short piece is driven by the electronics and the arco bass, and if it were not for the sax joining after a while, it would be hard to classify this as jazz, yet it sounds good, like an ocean at night, slight wind, no land to be seen. In contrast, the third piece drops you in the middle of a rock avalanche, a weird unrelenting environment from which you can't escape, wondering whether you would even want to. But all that is just the long introduction to the last, expansive, magnificent piece, that drags you along for half an hour of intense musical joy. It starts with a powerful interaction between sax and accompanying instruments, then the intensity drops for some floating mist created by organ and electronics, a barely tangible sound, a backdrop with no foreground. And when the emotional, fragile sax enters, you know you're in for a treat, because of the intensity and the quality of the sounds created, the slow pacing, and the time taken to make each sound come to full fruition and appreciation, but as it goes with carefully built-up tension, it needs release somehow, ... and it does come, gradually, intensifying the silent moaning, speeding up the tempo, increasing the volume, and the explosion does come, expansive, wild, pounding, crashing, screeching, howling, ... What more do you want?

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For me,Clean Feed's first 5-star album,'09."It's ALL good"? ...usually:)

Bill