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Anna Högberg Attack

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

B.A.N.: Peter Brötzmann (sax), Farida Amadou (b), Steve Noble (dr)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

Fred Van Hove (p), Peter Brötzmann (sax)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/23/2019

Hanne De Backer (sax) / Paal Nilssen-Love (dr)

Summer Bummer, De Studio, Antwerp, 8/22/2019

Biliana Voutchkova (v), Susan Alcorn (g), Isidora Edwards (c)

Berlin, August 2019. Photo by Christina Marx

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Catherine Sikora – Warrior (self released, 2019) ****



Regardless you like or not, reviewing a solo recording can be troubling even problematic some times. Any solo recording can be revealing very personal thoughts and ideas. Those that lie on the thin line that expresses the inexpressible. There are times that I feel I am the recipient of messages that oblige me to listen carefully and respond accordingly. Putting out anything of your own (and only that) self expression is, even in today’s social media driven society of spectacle, a strong message by itself. You have to, you really want to say something. And the only suitable way to do that is by leaving no other to mediate your message that yourself.

Catherine Sikora, with Warrior, has something to say to us. I haven’t met Catherine in person or had the luck to catch her live. I live in Greece you see. We only have exchanged some emails. Warrior seems like a part of her, as it resembles some of the thoughts Catherine shared with me on those emails about her music. Warrior is about women, dedicated to the struggles of all of them in our so called modernized societies. I would dare say, once more I guess, also for the lack of them in the world of improvised music.

But do not expect Warrior to be a protest album per se. It is mostly associated with feelings coming from deep inside. Or, possibly, on the disgust for the normalization of inequality in the 21st century. Sometimes Warrior delves deep into the free jazz tradition to form, on some of the tracks a cry, as angry as possible. In other parts of this almost 40 minutes recording, the love Sikora has for melody and the blues formulates a Braxtonian bridge between instant improvisation and written material.

The symbolism of the title alone-women as warriors-is polarizing our societies today because, as always, those who are most privileged (straight white males indeed) feel most threatened by it. I wouldn’t mind if Sikora used her sax the way A. Shepp did back in the day. As a weapon for the cry of his people to be heard. Sikora’s breathing, the melodic lines she uses, even the times she instantly changes a direction, follow a more symbolic, more internal path. Instead of the, always necessary if you ask me, raised fist, there’s a gesture of a hand that touches and holds another hand. An act of unity, power and togetherness. I find Sikora’s music, and Warrior of course, through this gesture.

@koultouranafigo

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Spill - Stereo (Corvo Records, 2018) ****½

By Stef

What is the link between jazz and cats? Is it the animal's free spirit, its independence and unpredictability? Is it to do with its sense of precision and purpose? In any case, the cat staring from the cover of this album looks exactly like my cat when I was a kid.

Luckily that has no influence on my appreciation of this music, a duet between pianist Magda Mayas and drummer Tony Buck, both based in Berlin and performing as a duo since 2003. This is their third recording - next to a trio with Damon Smith on bass - and it contains two 20' minute tracks, designed for a vinyl production, called "Magnetic Island" and "Sway".

The two musicians create sound environments with pre-recorded elements from live performances with multi-speaker and multi-layered audio, on which they act and react. The music expands slowly and with precision. Despite the various layers, the texture is light and fragile. Every sound counts and has a value of its own in a larger space that still resonates with the traces of previous sounds. The calmness betrays an inherent intensity of contrast and anticipation. The variety of techniques they use to approach their instruments may be resulting in noise according to some, but in fact it's the exact opposite. It is sensual, elegant and refined. Once you immerse yourself in this beautiful and carefully crafted sonic universe, everything else will sound like vulgar noise afterwards.

We can only hope that the duo will release with a higher frequency in the future.

... and yes, they are free-spirited, independent minds with a high dose of unpredictability, as well as a sense of precision and purpose. Like cats. But you already expected this, of course.

Listen and download from Bandcamp.






Friday, October 18, 2019

Rosetta Trio - Outliers (Papillon Sounds, 2019) ****


Stephan Crump will always be associated in my mind with guitarists. The first time I saw him play was with his Secret Keeper duet with Mary Halvorsen. Admittedly I was there primarily to see how she got those squiggly bendy notes that are part and parcel of her precociously trademark sound (as a non guitarist I still didn't have a clue how she did it but she made it look real easy) but while I was doing that was also thinking "that bass player guy is pretty good". So good that I subsequently went to see his Rhombal quartet and trio with Ingrid Laubrock and Cory Smythe; in all settings he added his unique musical personality while seamlessly fitting into the group sound to the point that seeing his name on a recording puts it at the top of the must listen to pile.

So if one guitar is good then two must be better, right? Because that's what you get with the Rosetta Trio featuring Liberty Ellman on acoustic guitar and Jamie Fox's electric, a group existing since 2004 which Crump formed as a one off to record material he felt strongly personally about for the Rosetta release under his name. But then the group assumed a life of its own and the guitarists began contributing works of their own and after Reclamation and Thwirl we have the current release.

If you're already enamored with the group there's plenty more to feast upon here. For those of you with an aversion to a drummerless trio of un firebreathing instruments, you might want to reconsider. The title piece, the core of which came to Crump in the back of a tour van in Europe, establishes the groove early after which the participants break away into slightly asymmetrical orbits which never escape the central gravity before finally getting back in sync. Synapse provides a scaled down arena rock feel of two guitars swirling around a propulsive bass figure, minus the drums and cacophonous volume.

When Stephan released Rhombal with a different quartet dedicated to his far too prematurely deceased brother, Patrick, it was accurately reviewed here as a joyous celebration of his life. Two songs were held back from that session specifically for this group. Dec 5 was Patrick's first birthday after his passing and the piece poignantly expresses the sense of yearning for what was lost, particularly in Fox's crystalline melodic notes. Middle March, the last time the brothers were together, is an uplifting tribute to his still vibrant spirit.

Liberty Ellman created Cryoseism, an intricate trading off of sprightly motifs by all three players, initially for Thwirl but the musicians weren't happy with how the piece had developed. Subsequent rehearsals and tours prodded and pushed it to a level they were satisfied with and here it is. That's how the entire disc is: well developed interplay between three simpatico players. Listening to it repeatedly as the weather was changing into cool autumn seemed very fitting.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Eugene Chadbourne and Henry Kaiser – Wind Crystals: Guitar Duets by Wadada Leo Smith (Relative Pitch, 2019) *****

By Nick Ostrum

First, a brief history. Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith have collaborated before, most notably on their Yo Miles! Project, as well as in various other settings. In fact, Smith had actually written “Wind Crystals” for Kaiser’s first recording for Eugene Chadbourne’s label…and the seeds of this recording were planted. Forty years later, Chadbourne and Kaiser decided to pay homage to Smith by recording several of his compositions for dual guitar/strings and rerecording the piece that started it all (with “it” meaning this four-decade triangle of on-off [and recently mostly off, it seems] collaboration).
Wind Crystals begins and ends with contending versions of the title track. The first is the 1977 version. The last, the 2017 one. The first is sparer and captures the spirit of windchimes. The second is one of the most active pieces on this album, and possibly one of the best. All sounds are acoustic, but there are times in the latter piece that I hear howls and hums amidst the frolicking dialogues. What a fine and different interpretation.

Other tracks are similarly off-kilter but focused. Pieces such as “Shabazz,” “Blue Lightning Blue,” and “Blue Case” run replete with bluesy undertones. Even more, however, they disassemble the tradition, using its pieces as a sort of spolia with which to build a new, warped edifice or sonic fragments with which to construct an aural collage. (Yes, Derek Bailey seems a major influence, though the tracks here have somewhat more melody and rhythm than Bailey ever let slip.) Other tracks, such as “Pacifica” have a twangy vibe and are in striking contrast to, but also in awkward continuity with, the version on Spiritual Dimensions. At points, they even capture the trills, runs, and even the cavernous qualities of Smith’s horn, albeit in a more sinuous, skrony, broken bluegrass sort of way.

In short, these are inventive and absolutely compelling interpretations of these compositions. If you are a fan of Wadada, I would recommend checking this out if for no other reason than to experience some of the alternate potentialities of his music. If you are a fan of Dr. Chad and the Kaiser, you already know what you are in for: craggy guitar music played to explore strings, vibrations, resonances, and spaces, rather than muffle them into something mellifluous and smooth. Even considering the catalogues of all three musicians/composers party to this project, Wind Crystals, in its dedication to the acoustic avant-garde, is really out there and a real triumph of invention, resourcefulness, and composition. One of the best albums I have heard all year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fredrik Rasten - Six Moving Guitars (SOFA Music, 2019) ****

Six Moving Guitars is the musically and conceptually ambitious debut record from composer/guitarist Fredrik Rasten. The recording was made by Rasten and five collaborators -- both musicians and dancers -- at a church in Norway in 2018. The performance is an interactive sonic exploration of the space in which it was recorded, each performer wielding an acoustic guitar tuned in just intonation, a manner of tuning wholly different than how instruments are typically tuned. A choreography is played out with the guitars, which was developed as a way to link the unique sound of the guitars in just intonation and the space they were being played in. Rasten developed material and various playing techniques that are played out by both musicians and non-musicians. This is intentional, as Rasten refers to the music as " a study in how people, without necessarily being trained musicians, can act together in a musical situation based on awareness of listening and spatial orientation."

Musically the record is filled with seemingly simple plucked and strummed guitar patterns. The six voices bounce small ideas off one another, thoroughly in conversation, and ultimately create a complex fabric of sound. It is slow moving, steady and consistent, breathing gradually and moving between sections. Before you know it the music has reached a new section, bled into from what came before it. This is music that very successfully invokes elements of Minimalism, and nearly New Age.

Rasten has created a hypnotizing, beguiling listen, both in part to the aforementioned way the music unfolds, as well as the textures coming from the non-traditionally tuned guitars. Overtones abound -- they wobble and throb, and often it is hard to place from where a sound came. There is a spareness to the recording but the sound is nonetheless full, aided in part by the waving. encompassing chordal textures.

Though separated into five tracks, Six Moving Guitars is really one long piece. Consistent throughout is the footsteps and incidental noise generated from the movement of the performers. This becomes an essential part of the recording, an element not unlike the clinking of glasses of music recorded at a club. It acts as well as a near percussive drone, shuffling under the guitars like a quiet cymbal. The pulse really only changes during the fourth piece "Running," during which the choreography seems to be the namesake for the piece, as rhythmic running steps beat quickly in time, achieving a tone different than what came before. A phasing effect is even subtly achieved, as the steps come closer and drift further from the mic. The effect is mesmerizing.

When listening to Rasten's record one may recall the music of the late guitarist Rod Poole (as well as Poole's Acoustic Guitar Trio with Nels Cline and Jim McAuley), a master practitioner of the guitar tuned in just intonation. Though of a different overall aesthetic and intention, there is indeed a comparison. Both make shimmering, ringing acoustic guitar music, that achieves a feeling of boundlessness among many sonic worlds. Rasten has released a beautiful debut record, and I'm excited to see what comes next for him.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Louis Moholo-Moholo’s Five Blokes – Uplift the People (Ogun 2018) ****


By Hinrich Julius

Louis Moholo-Moholo does not need an introduction here and still – here it is. Originally, from Cape Town he left South Africa with the racially mixed Blue Notes and finally settled in London. There he continued to play with the various bands around Chris McGregor, especially the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood of Breath. First prominence as leader was achieved with “Spirits Rejoice”, just rereleased as LP on Otoroku – a freejazz classic featuring the cream of British residing musicianship as Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Tippett, Johnny Dyani, Harry Miller and Nick Evans. He continues the tradition of the Blue Notes’ style of African melodies with free-jazz outburst until today, now with the extended name of Moholo-Moholo, which he took up after resettling back to South Africa in 2005.

This blog has featured some output of Moholo, most notably Duo-recordings with Marilyn Crispell (Sibanye – We are the one, Intakt 2008) and Wadada Leo Smith (Ancestors, TUM 2012 ). This CD rather follows the tradition of his Afro-Free recordings, which go back to recordings of the Blue Notes, e.g. the dedications to former members Mongezi (Feza, Ogun 1975), and Johnny (Dyani, Ogun 1987). Louis Moholos continued this tradition with his smaller band Viva-La-Black (Exile, Ogun 1990; Freedom Tour – Live in South Africa, Ogun 1994) and his Dedication Orchestra (Spirits Rejoice, Ogun 1992; Ixesha, Ogun 1994), and latest with his Unit For the Blue Notes (Ogun 2014).
“Five Blokes” features exactly what it states and offers a concert recording from London’s Café Oto from 2017. Five musicians who have all played together for a while. Alexander Hawkins provides rhythmic power piano with free excursion. John Edwards anchors the music with a solid bass. The two saxophones cry out the melody and scream with joy over it – Jason Yarde and Shabaka Hutchings. Everything is held together and irritated by Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums. The songs use powerful and rather simple melodies with an African feel to it introduced and sustained through unison playing, mostly by the horns. This background is used by all players taking opportunities to freak out. In this regard, the record is offering more free playing than some of the other younger records offer, e.g. For the Blue Notes. Moholo-Moholo himself provides a constant beat (without always playing it) and creates a rhythmic pulse sustaining an atmosphere of excitement.

This constant tension filled with joy is probably the most special feature of this music. I month ago I had the chance to catch the “Five Blokes” live (with Tobias Delius instead of Shabaka Hutchings) in Holland during the yearly Jazzcycle festival around Groningen ( Zomerjazzfietstour 2019 – a trip highly recommended for readers of this blog). The saxophones shout the joyful melodies, piano and bass provide a solid bass and change the roles with the saxophones while the leader on the drums succeeds in providing both stomps parallel to complex patterns reflecting joys of African pop songs and the history of free drumming. It is the latest release of Ogun records, the label that opened the ears of the world to this free-form African music since the 1970s. Highly recommended, available as CD and download .

Monday, October 14, 2019

Angles 9 - Beyond Us (Clean Feed, 2019) ****½

By Stef

You can wonder about the value of a review for an album that all fans are already aware of and cannot but appreciate. Since the band's first album in 2008, Angles have kept the same unique high level of performance, adding members from a sextet to a nonet over the years, with a trio in between. 

The current nonet are Martin Küchen on alto and tenor saxophones, Eirik Hegdal on baritone saxophone, Goran Kajfes on cornet, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Mats Äleklint on trombone, Mattias Ståhl on vibraphone, Alexander Zethson on piano, Johan Berthling on double bass and Andreas Werliin on drums. 

At the first tones of the album, you already feel that this is good. The theme is as infectious as before, the band moves as one, the vibes offer a refreshing contrast to the powerful horns, the rhythm section including the piano drive the action forward relentlessly. As said before, this is not music to be heard through headphones, but to be enjoyed in a live setting, where you are as the audience close to the action, if not part of the action. This is marching band music, this is street music, designed to be close to everyday sentiments of joy and sadness, and a little indignation to for the way things unfortunately are. This is communal music, to be enjoyed collectively. It is also political music, designed to rally the forces of the people to overthrow the unjust rulers of our society. 

But since headphones are the next best thing, you are sucked up in the action, and you feel part of something grander and more significant. 

Despite the fact that this is the band's seventh album (taking all configurations into account), the musical vision that Martin Küchen developed from the start is still entirely intact. And yes, it would be easy to identify this ensemble's sound in a blind test, even if it would be hard to say from which album, because they have stayed so close to their core concept. 

"U(n)happiez Marriages" starts with beautiful piano, in a slow very boppish mode and respective harmonic structure, leading to yet again a wonderful theme, sad and moaning, recognisable and yet so inventive, as the backbone for heartrending solo work by the trombone and the trumpet. But the even more wonderful is the freedom of all musicians to colour outside the lines, even when participating in the theme, leading to a weird sense of controlled freedom, which sets this wide apart from any form of traditional jazz, as if the imperfections and the deviations make it more real and authentic. 

"Samar & The Egyptian Winter" is dedicated to the Syrian author and journalist Samar Yazbek, and by extension refers to the refers to the Arab Spring that has been quenched by the Sissi government in Egypt and by Assad in Syria. It starts with a sad solo sax intro, leading into a dramatic theme, accentuated by the vibes. Drums and bass lay the perfect ground work for the theme played by trumpet, cornet and baritone, tearful and sad, then for the cornet to improvise over calm piano chords, arco bass and it becomes even sadder, and the when the entire band starts again with the theme, the emotions the music evokes and the empathy you can feel with the Egyptian people are brought to their zenith.  

"Against the Permanent Revolution" starts with a piano and baritone sax intro, sonically reminiscent of the Ethiopian music of Mulate Astatke, for an incredibly exuberant and jubilant piece of marching revolutionaries. The title refers to a term - permantent revolution - used by Marx and later by Trotsky to describe how the proletariat should take over power without any compromise for opposing views. What the title actually means, we should ask Küchen himself. 

The album ends with "Mali", a high energy, uptempo piece, driven by Werliin's kinetic drumming, and leading into a wild theme, that could be the soundtrack for a 70s action movie (but then of the better kind). It is a maddening romp with unexpected changes and stops, including a two-sax vamp that brings the audience to shouts, after which the other musicians join in utter chaos and according to unknown principles and directions ... the audience cheers when piano and trumpet take over and again the other instruments join, first chaotically, then the whole massive sound coalesces again into the main dubbel-layered theme, ending with a massive stop to the enthusiastic cheers of the audience. 

The performance was recorded live August 25th, 2018 at the Zomer Jazz Fiets Tour, The Netherlands.

Fun and sadness guaranteed, together with a good level of admiration for the compositional power and musicianship.



Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sarah Gail Brand / Steve Beresford / John Edwards / Mark Sanders - All Will Be Said, All To Do Again (Regardless, 2019) ****

By Lee Rice Epstein

British trombonist Sarah Gail Brand doesn’t appear on albums often, which makes this recording especially exciting. Having previously recorded with drummer Mark Sander s , All Will Be Said, All To Do Again is the recorded debut of a quartet with multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford and bassist John Edwards. The album, recorded live in January 2018, flows masterfully, as the musicians merge, converge, and diverge with tremendous energy. Three major quartet improvisations, “A Constant Quantity,” “Be Again,” and “Let’s Go,” are set off by a series of smaller groupings: “This One” with Brand and Beresford; “Ever Tried” with Brand, Beresford, and Edwards; “Let’s Do Something While We Have the Chance” with Brand and Edwards; and “For Reasons Unknown,” again with Brand, Beresford, and Edwards.

As I’ve written in prior reviews, it’s difficult for me to separate art like free improvisation from the state of the world beyond it. Personally, I tend to find improvised music less hermetically sealed than other types of music, and so to try and put some context around the date of this performance, it feels like the depths of Brexit malaise is being mined for something dense and frustrated, with knotty, clanging piano preparations and electronics from Beresford and Sanders’s magnificent percussion flurries. With associations onstage and on record going back decades, all four players are comfortable pushing at their compatriots’ loose edges, the subtle frays drawn out by partial phrasing and the occasional dramatic pause.

Much like Ken Vandermark, Brand is talented at shaping a lengthy performance, bringing a number of techniques to her trombone playing. There are a number of Rutherford-esque sequences throughout the album, and “For Reasons Unknown” features some of her finest and most challenging playing. Some of the smaller groupings serve as a tightrope-walker’s interlude, where a notably tenser, strained timbre slips into place. Edwards, of course, is incredible, and he pairs with Brand expertly. Their duet “Let’s Do Something While We Have the Chance” is the middle track, and indeed serves as a bit of a centerpiece, as instrumentally sparse as this album gets. That said, the tracks featuring the full quartet are brilliant, like all the best free jazz, ablaze with possibility and absolutely on fire.

Available via Bandcamp.



Also of note: Though I’ve not heard it yet, the release of Brand’s quartet performance with Simon H. Fell, Percy Pursglove, and the late Tony Marsh is another notable 2019 release. Recorded live in 2011, Harmonic 2011 is an improvised set, running about 30 minutes. As Fell notes, this was the last time he saw Marsh, and the one and only recording of this particular quartet.

Also available via Bandcamp.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Deep Listening to Bruno Duplant: Recent Works

By Nick Ostrum

Bruno Duplant is a self-taught composer, phonographer, bassist, and altogether 21st century renaissance man from France. Like many others of his generation, he is a relentless audial explorer and documentarian, and over just the past few years has more releases in more genres and on more labels than one can reasonably keep track of. (This impulse to document may bleed over from the other side of his life as a library sciences teacher.) Unlike some of his peers, however, his releases are not just the product of obsessively recording live sessions. Instead, Duplant seems to have a more concerted program. Per his own testimony, even his field recording releases are thoughtfully composed. And, his electro-acoustic and pure acoustic compositions are meticulous and delicate soundscapes, feedback and frayed edges included.

Bruno Duplant - Deux Songes (Les Jours Sont Faits Pour Expliquer Les Nuits) (Meena, 2019) ****


It has become a cliché, but, first and foremost, Duplant is a pupil of John Cage. For him, “ Everything is music. We just have to open our windows .” I have always been ambivalent about such claims. On the one hand, I am drawn to them cognitively. On the other, they can give license to careless, shoddy reproduction of sound that can alienate the listener from what should be a filtered, refined experience. Fortunately, Duplant has a well-trained ear as well as a developed compositional sense. He does not simply open his window or lay a string of notes side by side. Instead, he gathers and composes, or as he puts it “orgnanize(s) chance.” Take, for instance, the pair of realizations on Deux Songes (Les Jours Sont Faits Pour Expliquer Les Nuits). Performed by the chamber ensemble Ordinary Affects, these compositions lay certain restrictions but the performers dictate the result within those confines. Ok, maybe this is nothing new conceptually, particularly in our post-postmodern present. Still, the results are potentially limitless and, in this case, quite beautiful. Both the realizations of “un lieu des souvenirs” and “le rêve de la nuit” are spacious but also full; they are similar, but hardly interchangeable. Wisps of strings waft through carefully assembled soundscapes. Extended tones scrape and quiver. A Fender Rhodes pulses. Sounds layer, but rarely beyond couples or trebles. Then, there is silence. Silence separates the brief movements of the piece and, in a sense, becomes the leitmotif.

http://www.ftarri.com/meenna/976/index.html

Bruno Duplant – Chamber and Field Works (Another Timbre, 2019) ****


Another exploration in chamber dynamics, Duplant’s two-disc Chamber and Field Works is presents a markedly different listening experience. It involves rich drones and elongated, ascending melodies rather than lowercase whispers. The first disc is comprised of pieces composed between 2015 and 2017 and realized by the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble (including the great Japanese minimalist visionary Taku Sugimoto). The second consists of one, long track titled “lEttEr to tAku,” a series of spare guitar tones layered over field recordings of the outdoors reworked and conscientiously juxtaposed. I find the first disc more fulfilling, though the second offers a clearer entrepôt into the pacific, pastoral imagery that underlay the chamber compositions. In that sense, this is an expert, classic record-styled pairing of a gripping a-side balanced by a more cerebral and challenging b-side split over two discs.

http://www.anothertimbre.com/brunoduplant.html

Bruno Duplant and Reinier van Houdt – Lettres et Replies (elsewhere, 2019) ****1/2


Lettres et Replies , Duplant’s collaboration with Dutch pianist Reinier van Houdt, is a further departure from the long tones and timbre studies of Deux Songs and Chamber. And, for reasons I cannot quite identify, it is absolutely stunning. The composition process is unconventional, as Eyal explains in his review . Crudely put, it seems that Duplant writes the pieces and, it seems, constructs the background field recording, while Houdt provides the second line of composition and, ultimately, the realization. Duplant composes the letters, and Houdt performs the reply. Again, conceptually this may not be wholly unique, but Duplant’s recognition and embrace of this process has at least opened channels of communication and understanding that allow the performer, Houdt, to deftly chart his own path through these lettres. Houdt’s playing is mesmerizing. He alternates between soft and hard strikes, and reconciles dissonance and sonority in a dreamy musical ether. At its most mellifluous, it is just shy of saccharine, in part because of the added dissonance and the pulsing layers of sound. At its most discordant, it is listless, though still quite sweet. Deceptively simple and utterly beautiful.



Bruno Duplant - Au Hasard des Cercles (Zoomin‘ Night, 2019) *** 1/2


A fourth album highlights yet another side of Duplant, and perhaps that for which he has gained the most attention: electroacoustic soundscapes. Au Hasard des Cercles poses a deeply textured narrative of distant, glimmering ringing, haunting ambient sounds, and muffled, but thunderous percussion. Cut into two 16-minute tracks (presumably to conform to its tape release), this album is a wandering exploration of sonic textures wherein every sonic movement and turn uncovers a new surface, element, or contour. The music has gravity but abandons the apocalyptic and melodramatic tendencies of similar projects in favor of mystery. For those familiar with such music, there is little here that will shock. And, as meticulously compiled as this album is, it never breaks into new territory. That said, this is a solid release. And, as with the best of its ilk, this is an album that pays dividends with the volume turned up and the ear attentive, even if one lets his or her attention periodically wander.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Freejazzblog on Air: The Song Does Not Remain The Same



freejazzblog on air, featuring blog colleague Martin Schray and radio host Julia Neupert broadcasted  on SWR2 in southern Germany at 11 p.m. CEDT. The show is available online for this week: https://www.swr.de/swr2/musik-jazz-und-pop/Jazz-SWR2-NOWJazz-freejazzblog-on-air-Songs-im-Free-Jazz,1160489-100.html.

The show is entitled "The Song Does Not Remain The Same" and is about the relationship of songs and free improvisation. It will include songs by Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Seval, Fire Orchestra, The Comet Is Coming, Code Girl and Ben LaMar Gay.