Monday, January 27, 2014

Abdelhaï Bennani - New Today, New Everyday (Improvising Beings, 2012) ****½

By Stef 

Sometimes good stuff gets missed, even by the most voracious free jazz listeners. And here I must apologise for all the albums that remain unreviewed. This was one of them, and scanning through all the 2012 lists of albums which did not get reviewed, it got my attention. I listened to it again, and again, and again, and wondered why it never got reviewed.

The band is Abelhaï Bennani on tenor, Itaru Oki on trumpet, bugle and flute, and Makoto Sato on drums. Alan Silva joins on synthesizer on three tracks.

The first CD is performed by the trio. Tenor and trumpet engage in open dialogues, full of stories to tell, some hesitant, some conversational, some jubilant or angy, with Sato not only underpinning, but adding to the intensity of the moment, changing, moving and propulsing the horns in different directions. The tracks appear to be "written" by Bennani, with only one pieces credited to all three musicians, but one might wonder what the writing has been about, since nothing as much as two consecutive notes form a repeated pattern. Every sound is new, fresh, authentic, as the album's title suggests.

This is musical freedom at its best. Especially the quiet pieces, like "Tribe", on which a slow deep tenor is interrupted by joyous bamboo flute, and rumbling on the skins by Sato. It is primal, open, welcoming notes as they sprout out of the instruments, without force, with being forced, almost without intention, as if by themselves, out of an organic or natural necessity.

The second Cd introduces Alan Silva on synths, but don't expect any style collusion with the freshness of the acoustic format. Silva adds quiet supporting tones, often quite inobtrusive, accentuating and almost flirting with the acoustic sounds, offering dark undertones, bass-like, on piano one track.

I cannot say it differently, this is quiet, cautious, intense organic music, full of depth and beauty.

If you like "Other Dimensions In Music", or "Nuts", then you are more than certain to enjoy this band.

Enjoy!


Other reviews :
Abdelhaï Bennani : "In Side" (Ayler, 2009), "There Starts The Future" (Ayler, 2008)
Itaru Oki : "Nobusiko" (Improvising Beings, 2010),
Itaru Oki and Makoto Sato : "Symphony For Old And New Dimensions" (Ayler, 2009),  "L'Atelier Tampon Ramier September 2007" (Ayler, 2007) 



2 comments:

Colin Green said...

I thought this was a tremendous album. Glad I'm not alone.

Richard said...

I really enjoyed AB's album "In Side" and find myself coming back to it often. I've been looking for a second album from him, this sounds like a good one.