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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Louie Belogenis Trio - Tiresias (Porter, 2011) ****½

 By Stef

The opening track of this album is something to share, also with innocent free jazz sceptics. It starts with some frenetic bowing by Michael Bisio, a couple of cymbal touches by Sunny Murray,  and then ... out of incredible emotional depths comes this human sorrowful howl from Louie Belogenis' tenor, all feeling, all resonance, combining sadness with fear and anguish, so human, so human, interrupting the slow wailing with staccato outbursts while Murray's toms start emphasing more, hitting harder, with Bisio's bass coming back to frenzy.

This magnificent trio used Albert Ayler as their example for this album, not trying to copy him, but rather using his process-oriented composing as an example, resulting in an nice flow in the music, but one that remains focused.

So much for the rationalisation and the context. The music does the rest and does not need many words : it speaks for itself. Three stellar musicians playing well, really well, listening carefully, adding creative touches, all three with a "voice" of their own - Murray is unique, Bisio is excellent, and Belogenis' tone will make many sax-players jealous - offering a perfect match of deeply emotional and free music, and all this with an excellent sound quality on top. The highlight of the album is the long "Tiresias", but John Coltrane's "Alabama" also gets a rendition that is hard to equal in terms of sensitivity and sheer musicality.

What an incredible joy to hear this trio play. 

So what about subjecting free jazz sceptics to the album? I tried it with some of my friends : one of them laughed out loud out of sheer pleasure for the ferocity and uncompromising nature of some of the moments, the other friend smiled pityngly while shaking her head, saying "these guys make noise because they can't play their instruments". There is still work to be done ...

Listen to "Blind Prophecy"

© stef


Paul said...

"There is still work to be done ... ", I enjoyed that closing line.