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Saturday, January 7, 2023

Toshinori Kondo, Massimo Pupillo, Tony Buck - Eternal Triangle (i dischi di angelica, 2022)

By Irena Stevanovska

If you’re a long-time free jazz listener, your ear has probably already gotten used to recognizing the sound of Toshonori Kondo’s trumpet, wherever you happen to hear to it.

In this album recorded in May 2019, and released in November 2022, two years after Kondo’s death,  the three incredible musicians, Kondo, Massimo Pupillo and Tony Buck, achieved to deliver a soul-changing experience with their live set in Bologna, Italy.

Most of us have probably dug really deeply for some of these exact sounds and frequencies, yet here we are, being able to feel the genius in its prime. The fact that this is one of the last things that Kondo played live gives the music more subjective chills and a sublime feeling. He is an artist that gave the world so much.

The serenity starts being noted since the beginning of the album. Kondo’s trumpet, as per usual, along with his mind-boggling effects, opens up before a stereophonic percussion (Tony Buck) and the astounding bass and electronics (Massimo Pupillo).

While listening to the album, you're always free to imagine yourself living the course of a leaf and when autumn comes, getting disconnected from your branch by the raw ambient sound. Starting your journey slowly falling, the trumpet softly blows you around in the air to the subtle sound of percussion, like little raindrops dripping in the pools around all of your being. On the long travels to your next state, you encounter all kinds of different possible ways to ride, pointed in and out by the various sounds coming from the album.

On the other hand, the album is completely filled with futuristic sounds that are engineered so well that anyone listening would be less likely to connect with the mighty sounds of earthly nature. Depending on what state of mind you are in while you are listening to it, you can just choose your journey. The genius of the album is the combination of the musicians, of which Kondo’s electric trumpet always takes you out of the world, while Buck’s drums are usually the definition of organic, played out as nature itself would play them. The electronics are used to shift you between the two worlds while the background sound serves as the exact thing that is drifting you towards the destination in which your mind decides to arrive.