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Klare / Platz / Kneer / Elgart: Modern Primitive (2012)

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Klare / Platz / Kneer / Elgart: Modern Primitive Steeped in various aspects of jazz tradition as much as it is on the cutting edge, the sonic territory covered by Modern Primitive is vast, to say the least. The music here, all freely improvised, has a warmth and immediacy that comes from intense, shared listening. Though there are no tunes or changes per se, that each player has an extensive background in modern jazz and other non- improvised music is quite evident. Historically, this is something that a lot of free improvising musicians try to hide. Instead, this quartet uses its "inside" musical chops to its advantage, producing a truly cohesive collective sound that moves from sweet melancholy to the brink of total chaos and back in the blink of an eye.

Drummer Bill Elgart
Bill Elgart
Bill Elgart
b.1942
drums
is probably the best known name here. The American expat is best known for his collaborations with pianist Paul Bley
Paul Bley
Paul Bley
b.1932
piano
, vibraphonist Karl Berger
Karl Berger
Karl Berger
b.1935
band/orchestra
, and saxophonist Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
b.1927
sax, alto
, to name a few. His innate sense of swing and tendency towards restraint in the face of heated exchanges between the other players is critical throughout Modern Primitive, particularly on "Meat Dress" and "Puppet Party."

Elgart has also worked extensively with bassist Meinrad Kneer
Meinrad Kneer
Meinrad Kneer
b.1970
bass, acoustic
, which is evident in their deeply connected playing throughout. Kneer is a highly responsive player, anchoring the music with muscular boppish lines ("Beekeeper's Song," "Meat Dress") or wailing away, horn-like, in the upper registers ("Blank Mask," "Can You Hear The Rain?").

Highly impressive is the work of veteran electric guitarist Jeff Platz
Jeff Platz
Jeff Platz
b.1957
guitar
, another American expat who's worked with multi-instrumentalists Daniel Carter
Daniel Carter
Daniel Carter
b.1996
sax, alto
and Joe Morris
Joe Morris
Joe Morris
b.1955
guitar
, and saxophonist Jim Hobbs
Jim Hobbs
Jim Hobbs

sax, alto
. Like Elgart, Platz is an unpredictable, mercurial player whose sound, while rooted in the jazz tradition, can go anywhere at any time. His slide guitar work on "A Gently Sloping Knoll" is a welcome, whimsical surprise. Platz tantalizes further on "Impish Episode" where he whips a fuzzbox out of the musical ether. Multi-reed man Jan Klare, a frequent associate of Platz, has a pleasantly throaty, somewhat Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
-like sound on alto. His clarinet playing is mobile and authoritative, bringing John Carter
John Carter
John Carter
b.1929
to mind.

Modern Primitive lives up to its name in the best possible way, combining instant music-making with beguiling craftsmanship in a variety of forward-looking contexts.


Track Listing: Beekeepers Song; Can You Hear The Rain?; Meat Dress; A Gently Sloping Knoll; Blank Mask; Grain by Grain; Puppet Party; Impish Episode; Mutual Agreement.

Personnel: Jan Klare: alto saxophone, clarinet, flute; Jeff Platz: guitar; Meinrad Kneer: double bass; Bill Elgart: drums.

Record Label: Evil Rabbit Records

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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