Amazon.com Widgets

Donat Fisch / Christian Wolfarth: Circle & Line 2 (2009)

By Published: | 3,603 views
Donat Fisch / Christian Wolfarth: Circle & Line 2 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Drummer Christian Wolfarth and saxophonist Donat Fisch first recorded in this formation more than ten years ago. Circle & Line 2 is the Swiss duo's reunion and an unique free jazz achievement. Saxophone and drum duos rarely become an artist's defining work. It is a difficult format, requiring extraordinary creative effort to maintain variety and interest. When master musicians like Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds
and Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
approached it, the result was an unstructured exchange between very different musical comfort zones. Peter Brotzmann
Peter Brotzmann
Peter Brotzmann
b.1941
reeds
has been in this territory as well, producing the expected and dominant spontaneous combustion. Even when Wolfarth and Fisch released their original Circle & Line (Unit Records) in 1999, it was more in the experimental vein with eighteen short and freer-standing pieces.

Circle & Line 2, while having a very improvisational feel, is both harmonious and even-handed. Wolfarth utilizes every part of the drum kit but doesn't attempt to throw the whole lot into any of the nine tracks. On "Merlodie" he brushes the cymbals to create an ambient background countering Fisch's blues influenced lines. "Maria's Blues" is dominated by tom-toms creating a subtle Afro-Latin background that at first contrasts Fisch's long lines, before the two seem to absorb each other's sound. Wolfarth supplies a staccato beat from the snare or concentrates on using sticks and the rim at various points. The collective effect is a diversity of sound that is largely responsible for maintaining a high level of interest throughout the set. "Elva" wraps up the set in a way that brings the duo together in a perfectly harmonious closing.

Fisch, whether on alto or tenor, applies extended, fluid melodies throughout the collection and his playing is beautiful. The lesser-known of the duo, he is an extraordinarily talented and versatile player who reflects many of the obvious saxophone influences but has his own distinctive style. Fisch seems to prefer the lower registers but occasionally covers the full range; he can sound as soulful as Bennie Maupin

Bennie Maupin
Bennie Maupin
b.1940
clarinet
, as blazing fast as John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, and knows how to draw on silence as well.

Though Circle & Line 2 fits neatly into the free jazz genre, there are no wild excursions here. Wolfarth never generates noise and Fisch is not given to honks and screeches. This is restrained improvisation that is readily accessible and very often elegant in a way that is not often associated with free jazz. There is a consistently harmonious organization all through the set. The duo creates the feel of a fluid surface; never far from either edgy or level but definitely closer to the feel of Euro improvisation than that of American free music.

Track Listing: Stalo; Marias Blues; Merlodie; Fur Christian; 15; Desmond; Staika; Besen Besen; Elva.

Personnel: Christian Wolfarth: drums; Donat Fisch: tenor and alto saxophones.

Record Label: Leo Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search