Clusone Trio: Love Henry (1996)
Introduced on the first track as "der Free Jazz Veteran," Han Bennink lives up to his reputation on this live German festival concert recording. The Clusone Trio of drummer Bennink, wind player Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger constantly feed off of each other's energy and contribute to form a unique group sound that explores the humorous, the aggressive and the beautiful.
With a repertoire of pieces but no prior knowledge of their order or how to get from one to another, the three create a spontaneous set of music, interjecting completely improvised sections between tunes where they feel fitting. Guided by their ears, each man is the conductor, cueing the next tune and how it will be played.
The sound is spacious, lacking the low-end of a bass, but making up for it with the myriad of aural textures used. Bennink has championed the sounds he can get out of his drums. He has an idiosyncratic style; not afraid to use his voice, a nearby piano or the stage floor itself, along with his collection of drums and cymbals. Moore often switches instrumentsa little less rapidly than Benninkbetween the alto sax, clarinet or melodica.
The imagery of the music is abundant. The clarinet melody of "Bilbao Song" sounds like a Parisian snake charmerif there ever was such a thingas Bennink's hands greet the drums and Reijseger's cello complements the sound like a Brazilian guitar. "Restless in Pieces" seems to depict a character torn apart and reconstructed to a bouncy island beat, before being destroyed again in a frenzied tirade.
If one person could play all these instruments simultaneously, this might be what it would sound like. The communication barrier that often occurs between musicians is absent here, as all three minds seem to be on the same track throughout.
Track Listing: Introduction; Red Hot; When I Lost You; White Hot; Cuckoo In The Clock; Uninhabited Island; Red Spots; Bilbao Song; Restless In Pieces; Love Henry; In The Company Of Angels; Tempo Comodo; Moeder Aller Oorlogen; White Christmas/Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor; Ao Velho Pedro/Marie Pompoen; Goodbye.
Personnel: Han Bennink: drums, percussion; Ernst Reijseger: cello; Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, melodica.
Record Label: Gramavision
Style: Beyond Jazz