Click here to [close]

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Anteloper - Kudu (International Anthem, 2018) ***½

By Stef Gijssels

Chicagoan trumpeter Jaimie Branch's "Fly Or Die" figured on many people's albums-of-the-year list in 2017, including mine. She did not appear totally out of nowhere, but the end result, the great music, and the quality of the album still came as a surprise. She continues to be in the spotlight, and deservedly so, albeit in a totally different context: in a duo setting with drummer Jason Nazary.

The duo performance was recorded live at the Carefree Studios in Brooklyn a year ago. This is not your traditional trumpet-percussion duo, as Branch plays keyboard and electronics too and Nazary adds electronics to the fun. The end result sounds like 'techno free jazz' if that word exists, with pumping rhythms, mad drumming, underpinned by looped phrases over which Branch's trumpet soars full of joy and pleasure, as on "Oryx", the opening track, or nervous as on "Fossil Record", or dark and ominous as on "Ohoneotree". Even if the musicianship is good, the focus of the improvisers is on the overall sound they generate, and it must be said that it works, it works well.

It's not at the same high level as "Fly Or Die", nor does it have the same ambition, but fans of electronic explorations in jazz will not be disappointed.

Listen and download from Bandcamp.