How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Alongside the growing roster of international talent, the Lithuanian No Business label is also starting to document the home grown scene. Kablys comprises three of the country's leading younger generation of jazz musicians. Saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas is among the best known, with over ten albums to his credit, and a résumé including appearances with Andrew Hill
. He is also a composer and active in contemporary academic music fields. Bassist Eugenijus Kanevicius works across a range of styles, while drummer Dalius Naujokaitis moved to New York City in 1995 and has performed with Kenny Wollesen
. His husky vibrato and growling multiphonics, sometimes spiced with guttural vocalizations, reveal an artist apparently reveling in sound for its own sake. Although adept at exploring a wide vocabulary of percussive timbres, Naujokaitis often defaults to a rocky backbeat when the proceedings heat up. Kanevicius occasionally layers his throbbing basslines with electronic washes, but is at his most forthright with a confident pizzicato pontification on "Emphasiastic (Dedicated to Jimmy Giuffre
Nasal soprano saxophone sine waves over rippling bass and clattering drums introduce "Hooked" before the atmosphere turns menacing as Mockūnas' raucous baritone riffs over a punk jazz stomp. Even though they can pack a visceral punch, the most memorable moments come on the more rounded numbers with jazzier sections, like "Triumph of Pagans (In Memory of The Great Zalgiris Battle 1410)." Even here there are fractious passages, where a fiery tenor sax/drum duet interrupts the almost melodic figures otherwise proposed by the reedman.
Track Listing: Hooked; Broke; Triumph of Pagans (In Memory of The Great Zalgiris Battle
1410); Emphasiastic (Dedicated to Jimmy Giuffre); Back Door.
Personnel: Liudas Mockūnas: tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones; Eugenijus
Kanevicius: bass and electronics; Dalius Naujokaitis: drums.