Noble, who sits in the piano chair for saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock's trio with drummer Tom Rainey, plays electric keyboards here. His squiggly wavy sounds summon Sun Ra's explorations on "Wheel" while Musson growls forth notes that would make Peter Brotzmann pause. The specter of sound varies from the ominous to spiritual. "On My Road" drifts through as a Coltrane-Pharaoh Sanders meditation and "The Blanket Feels Woolen" opens as a breathy quiet piece marked by overblown subtlety then mushrooms into interstellar space. She summons small tributes to Evan Parker and Paul Dunmall on "The Blue Man" and "You Wear Your Colors And Move." But more than that, with Sanders' ubiquitous energy and Noble's electric remarks, the saxophonist makes a name for herself.
Assembling a cast of five strong improvisers for this recording, Barnyard Records could not have imagined the direction, tone, or temperament of the end product. Needless to say, the satisfying weight of this freely improvised studio date comes from its lightness. There is a spaciousness here. Where one might expect a crowd or surge, there is restraint.
Drummer and label chief Jean Martin invited players with whom he has often collaborated, vocalist Christine Duncan and trumpeter Jim Lewis from the Element Choir. Then he added two more Canadian-based musicians, saxophonist Frank Lozano and guitarist Wiens Rainer.
Restraint is the order of the day. Why scream when you can pursue with understatement. Martin's pulse, scrapes, scraps, taps, and sly swing inform throughout. He does not so much keep time as he maintains the borders of this session. The blitheness of At Canterbury is its passionate nonchalance. Wiens sets his guitar aside for a mbira, inspiring Duncan to vocalize short sweet passages. Lewis' trumpet favors a melodic blues walk. Other places, bits of theremin ignite Lozano's soprano saxophone bird calls. The music reconfigures jazz, some late-night electronic dreams, smatterings of nonsense poetry, and insouciant free jazz.
Alberto Braida/Giancarlo Locatelli
A magical duo since 1996, the two Italians, pianist Alberto Braida and clarinetist Giancarlo Locatelli, recorded their ninth session together. While they play in various groupings, their pairing as a duo is purely simpatico.
Nel Margaine follows the three previously recorded duets, The Big Margotta (Editions Brokenresearch, 2009), Due (Z-Rec, 2004), and Diciannove Calefazioni (Takla Records, 1999).
Their chamber jazz shares a legacy with the recordings of Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron and they both contribute 5 compositions here. Locatelli's "The Hat" draws from Charles Mingus' tribute to another Bb clarinetist, Eric Dolphy, and Braida's "Fishiettando" and "Camminare Api" has tiny bits of Thelonious Monk scattered among a Gershwin-like melody. The final track is their one freely improvised piece. It cuts from their semiformal approach and structure. While out of place amongst the compositions, it does beg for an entire album of instantly composed music.
Alberto Braida/Giancarlo Locatelli
Less loud, less frenetic, and less combustible then we expect from bassist Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson and drummer Jan Martin Gismervik of the punk/rock/jazz outfit Wolfram Trio, PGA is just as intense.
Minus saxophonist Halvor Meling, the pair produce Corrections an atmospheric free jazz minimalist project. The Oslo-based pair mine the muffled and muted. They react to each other with bowed vibrations, scrapped skins and resonating thumps, playing a sort of ECM version of Sun 0))). Neither Dietrichson nor Gismervik is content with their instrument's modus operandi. The bass is worked into a beatbox, strings are wrenched and polished and the drum set is coaxed to give up new sounds. The pair opt for moody punk-ambient music in places and elsewhere, dastardly cinematic stretches.
Trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø and trumpeter Thorsten Lavik Larse guest on two tracks to expand, not the noise, but the size of the room. Like the duo, the guests extend their instruments adding breath instead of notes. All is frightfully beautiful.
El Dia De Los Muertos
El Gallo Rojo