Monday, May 16, 2011

Thomas Heberer - Clarino (No Business, 2011) ****

By Stef

This double vinyl LP is a real treat for fans of small ensembles or chamber jazz. The first sides, called "Klippe", bring us the trio of Thomas Heberer on trumpet and quarter-tone trumpet, Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet and bass-clarinet, and Pascal Niggenkemper on bass, three stellar musicians from respectively Germany, Belgium and France/Germany combined, but who all met in New York. The trio improvises based on Heberer's self-developed compositional development which gives clues to the players on pulse, density, pitch etc allowing also for spontaneous phrases to be repeated. The end result are quite intimate and abstract miniatures, quite gentle and full of mutual respect, no doubt the result of very attentive listening to each other. Sometimes the music itself has few references to jazz, but more linked to ethereal new music, but at other times, both trumpet, clarinet and bass play deeply emotional bluesy tones, giving the overall tone one of fragile sensitivity.

On the second LP, called "One", Heberer goes solo, demonstrating his incredible skills, especially when his circular breathing allows him to play an entire piece seemingly in one breath, or when he kind of shouts and creates multiphonics on his horn. Yet he is of course too good a musician to just demonstrate technique on his instrument, which is entirely in function of the music.  I must say that I prefer the austerity of the solo pieces above the trio. They give the fragility a different, deeper, more personal dimension, of the lone individual struggling, moaning, singing. Unlike other trumpeters like Peter Evans or Nate Wooley, Heberer keeps his tone voiced throughout, which makes this overall somewhat more accessible, although that is of course an extremely relative concept. Some pieces are absolutely astonishingly beautiful.

Buy from Instantjazz.

© stef

2 comments:

Richard said...

His album 5x5 which was also reviewed here was free as a download, and maybe still is. But in any case, it was great.

I wish I had a turntable.

allan said...

The good news is that the trio recording is, according to Thomas Heberer's website, to be released as a CD by Clean Feed later this year.