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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Max Nagl Trio - Boulazac (Rude Noises, 2009) ***½

The clarinet is possibly a lead instrument that spans the broadest range of musical genres, from classical, over folk, klezmer, Turkish, balkan, to jazz, and soundtracks, from street musicians over dance bands to funeral bands. Austrian clarinetist and alto-saxophonist Max Nagl masters all these genres too. His trio, with Clemens Wenger on keyboards, and Herbert Pirker on drums, released the Robert Wyatt tribute album "Market Rasen" some years ago. Now they move into a quite interesting genre-blending exercise, incorporating all the musical genres mentioned above, adding rock, progrock and avant-garde to the list, often intertwining them in the same compositions. The end result is quite satisfying, with often unexpected musical developments, but a little too much an exercise in style, which goes a little to the detriment of authentic expressivity.

© stef