Maggie Nichols / Caroline Kraabel / Charlotte Hug: Transitions (2002)
This recording session was only the third occasion that the trio played together, coming just a month after their live debut at last year's Freedom of the City festival. Given this, they are remarkably sympathetic and coherent, the equal of far longer established groupings. Each of the three, in their own way, has a certain theatricality about them. Kraabel performs solo mixed-media performance art pieces, as well as leading Mass Producers, a twenty-strong female saxophone group (not eligible as the answer to the quiz ). Hug has explored performance in unusual spaces such as dungeons and underground Roman Baths. Nichols' use of snatches of familiar melody and coherent phrases has long delighted audiences. Although this CD was recorded in Conway Hall (venue of Freedom of the City) there was no audience present, so the listener here is not missing out on the interaction between performers and audience (often a frustration with recordings of live events). Nonetheless, this is music of such drama that it cries out to be performed live; to listen to a recording is fine but it does have an incomplete feeling to it.
Track Listing: Undercurrents (for Paddy Ben Pan); Lullaby for Clement; Broken Bridges; No Now; Hymn Indoors; Coming Out; Up to Earth.
Personnel: Maggie Nichols, voice; Caroline Kraabel, alto saxophone, voice; Charlotte Hug, viola.
Record Label: Emanem