Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ingrid Schmoliner, Joachim Badenhorst & Pascal Niggenkemper - Watussi (Listen Closely, 2013) ***½

By Stef 

Three years after "Taro", we find Austrian pianist Ingrid Schmoliner back in the company of clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst, with the ensemble enriched by Pascal Niggenkemper on bass.

The music here is even more pronounced, sounding like nature breathing or life vibrating in a way not heard before, with subtle touches of sound painting a nice aural picture of calm intensity, with instruments that shift from their usual timbre to become a touch more fragile, more resonating, moving elsewhere, into even more open space, slowly touching the other sounds and moving along with them.

On three tracks Schmoliner sings too, in a kind of tribal worldless way, like an invocation of spirits, breaking the low volume of the instruments, adding some power to the restraint they've shown.

And maybe the word "restraint" characterises this album, in the sense that there is obvious tension underneath, yet this rarely surfaces, but is hinted at, both in the composed and the improvised pieces. You never get the full picture, even melodies are hinted at, they come and evaporate again.

A special album, mysterious and sensitive.


1 comment:

Rui António said...

What i like less in this album is the singing voice from Schmoliner. What i like more is the amazing interaction by these three great musicians.