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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jon Corbett's Dangerous Musics - Kongens Gade (Leo, 2011) ****

 By Stef

A kind of sophomore album to Jon Corbett's "Dangerous Musics '91", an album of half-forgotten music, revived in 2008. Now Corbett is back with Nick Stephens on bass and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, doing as then, only better. And for trumpet trio lovers, I can also recommend "Today's Play" with Corbett, Stephens and Tony Marsh.

The playing is strong, with Corbett using his short phrases, vocalised mostly, creating dynamic sonic landscapes of raw intensity, with notes and beats splattered all around creating a sonic equivalent of action painting, lots of energy but then with a good vision of what the end result is expected to sound like, a glorious flux of crisp and fresh in-the-moment playing, full of urgency and immediacy, the here and the now, without false pretense or show or tinsel.

Corbett's trumpet is setting the tone : he can yearn, sigh, sing weep or rant, but the phrases are always short, with a kind of surprise feeling of wonder on them, like musical question marks. If anyone is well placed to interact with the trumpeter, it's Nick Stephens, his long time musical partner, the one with the deep sound and round tone, and the equally sudden improvisational surprises. Moholo-Moholo is equally fantastic, and the moments are many when the listener - me, you - can do nothing else than smile or laugh because of the pure percussive joy he is hearing, inventive, precise and yes .... right. The band's energy creates an incredible pulse and drive, and that without explicit rhythms, quite an achievement.

You could argue that the trio format limits the possibilities of musical development, and even if some moments of the four tracks are easily interchangeable, each track still has its specific quality due to the variation of instruments Corbett uses - trumpet, valve trombone, bamboo flute - but at least the last track has its slower, more resigned parts.

A real trio, more concerned with the joint result and dynamics than about their individual performance,  and a trio of musicians who've done it all, who no longer need to prove anything, excelling once again and on record, relaxed and intense.

I absolutely love every second of it.

Buy from Instantjazz.

© stef