Click here to [close]

Thursday, February 18, 2021

GreMi – Red Carpet (Prepost Records, 2020) ****½

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

GreMi is the Hungarian sax and drums duo of István Grencsó on tenor and soprano saxophone and Szilveszter MIKLÓS on drums and percussion. I must admit that this is the first time I listen to a recording from Grencsó, but most probably, by now, you have listened to AT MU, MIKLÓS’ duo with Peter Brötzmann which also came out late last year. What those two recordings have in common is –apart from the fact that they came out on vinyl which is a treat for us fetishists- the amazing percussion work from MIKLÓS. But we will get back to this shortly.

Prepost is one of those small, independent labels that captures the adventurous spirit of free improvisation. Its focus is local, trying to capture what goes on in the Budapest scene (an action already worth praising as the fascists in power there are working on their agenda), helping all of us realize that there is interest, pathos an energy for these musics outside the well known epicenters.

I’ve more than once used this space I’m given on here to present such duos, especially of the reeds-drums spectrum. The interaction of two people as minimal as it may seem, it incorporates, on a small scale (as is mostly the focus of free improvisation), many of the feelings, ideas and thoughts that have progresses through improvisation. Egalitarian music I call it sometimes. This time it’s a bit different, because MIKLÓS percussion work stands out (which is the same for the AT MU LP by the way). He utilizes all parts of his drum set experimenting with timbre and polyrhythmic outbursts, while at other times his playing is very minimal, leaving space for the sax to develop its, very often, melodic lines. Whichever be the case he never tries to dominate.

Red Carpet is divided in five parts, with Cut V occupying the whole of b side, being the core of the recording I think. There are times that Grencsó’s sax is aggressive spitting out notes out of the great free jazz tradition, and other that he finds solace in melody. Even though I really enjoyed the percussion work throughout Red Carpet, this is a recording of equals. The fact that it was recorded live, proves, once more, that free improvisation utilizes this fact (spontaneity I would say) to explore all the possibilities of sound. As any music, outside of conventions, should at least try. Only three hundred copies were made, buy yourself one.



Anonymous said...

Nice review. Thanks.

Prepost said...

The album is also on label's website:
And on label's bandcamp: