Alexey Lapin / Melvyn Poore / Matthias Schubert / Roger Turner / Helen Bledsoe: Seek It Not With Your Eyes (2010)
All five players are improvisers, ready to turn an idea into a germane presence in an instant. A wisp, a fragment, a note floating hazily in the air is harnessed and turned into vital conversation. Time is controlled by space as significantly as it is a stream of interaction.
Lapin, playing live outside his native Russia for the first time, sets up "Per Aspera," a line of protracted notes turning into a well of melody complemented, at first, by Turner, before Schubert and Poore come in. What transpires is an eddying whirlpool of sound, the instruments comingling, even as they voice their individuality. Strangled squiggles of saxophone weave through the piano notes before straightening into a melodic progression, with euphonium providing a backdrop of smooth linearity. The communication is symbiotic.
Bledsoe gets right into the feel, opening the path to "Little Ways to Perceive the Invisible," a roiling combustion that textures the fabric. The undercurrent surges, the instruments cross, cutting and igniting a marvelous storm of fertile ideas. Throbbing patterns are stimulated by a constant sense of urgency, and while the high kicks in and locks; the pattern never stays the same. The chiming piano chords, percussion's tinkling, horns' crying and flute's airiness are also tangents in the frame.
All the music reverberates to capture the imagination.
Track Listing: Per Aspera; Can't Catch the Name; Blur/Fanfare for the Rational Man; Little Ways to Perceive the Invisible; Animated Beings.
Personnel: Alexey Lapin: piano; Melvyn Poore: tuba, euphonium; Matthias Schubert: tenor sax; Roger Turner: percussion; Helen Bledsoe: flute (4, 5).
Record Label: Red Toucan Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde