Sunday, November 14, 2010
Free Jazz Quartet - Memories For The Future (Matchless, 2010) ****
The music is extremely light-footed, and unlike some British free improv or AMM music, it is "free jazz" as its name suggests, in the sense that there are themes, there is rhythm, but the openness of texture, the gentle breaking of boundaries and the sonic explorations already hint at another kind of music. In that sense the title is apt, taking good jazz memories from the past, and taking the best of it to make the music of the future. No paradox here, just some forward thinking.
The musical result is excellent: mild explorations, full of warmth, great interaction and somehow also surprise on the journey. "Pulsate" offers an interesting cello vamp to spur the improvisation on, and is in that sense more traditional. "Summoning" adds something more, starting with a great percussion intro on the toms only, the bowed cello adds a kind of maddening phrase and improvisation, and once that scene is created, sax and trombone join past halfway the track with mourning bird calls evolving into surreal wailing.
"Vibrational" brings a beautiful soprano solo over a nervous rhythm by drums and cello, evolving into what could be a chase between Tom and Jerry, then turning bluesy when the trombone joins. The title track is led by the trombone, is somewhat more adventurous and atonal in its approach, with the cello and percussion taking over the lead in the second part, full of urgency and intensity."Harmonious Relations" is as jazzy as it gets, with the sax leading the tune, and with cello and drums adding the sparse rhythmic backbone.
The album ends in absolute beauty, with "Blurring Of Boundaries" offering the essence of their music : sensitive and in the musical vanguard, sweet and different at the same time.
It's a shame this band did not record more. It's a miracle and a joy that their second album is now available.