How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Calcutta, India born trumpeter Rajesh Mehta demonstrates his interest in symbols and numbers, as he shares some common ground with his teacher, the venerable composer/multi-woodwind specialist Anthony Braxton. On, Reconfigurations, Mehta utilizes a vast arsenal of horns consisting of slide trumpet, hybrid trumpet, bass trumpet and extensions. Here, the artist partakes in a set that at times draws similarities to a cooperative, as clarinetist/saxophonist Vlatko Kucan, violinist/violaist Aleksander Kolkowsi, bassist Peter Niklas Wilson and percussionist Ray Kaczynski perform their strategic parts for a presentation teeming with diametric angles and fragmented themes.
The “Mehta-Metric Ensemble” pursues emotional dialogue while also engaging in alternating call and response style conversation amid elements of whimsy, pathos and a wavering flow as Mehta blows raspy lines while integrating multiphonics into his repertoire. Essentially, Reconfigurations presents the listener with a lucid musical experience as various propositions are reformulated into sequences boasting circular movements, surreal effects and ethnocentric-style motifs. In some instances, imagery of a sculptor chiseling away at a modern art piece comes to mind, yet the breadth and substance of these three pieces pertain to Mehta’s mathematical interrelations with music and perhaps humanity, as you can easily hear the instruments' "voices" blend. With “Part 2”, the musicians plot a course featuring weaving textures and intersecting lines amid intricate and often subtle developments, as the band injects a great deal of compassion into these complex and altogether enticing story lines. Recommended!
Track Listing: Reconfigurations: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
Personnel: The Mehta-Metric Ensemble: Rajesh Mehta; trumpet, slide trumpet, bass trumpet, hybrid trumpet and extensions; Vlatko Kucan; clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, melodica: Aleksander Kolkowski; stroh violin, viola: Peter Niklas Wilson; double bass: Ray Kaczynski; percussion