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Trio Sowari: Shortcut (2008)

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Trio Sowari: Shortcut How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Someone is listening. Shortcut, the second release by European minimalist improvisation group Trio Sowari is proof enough. They're listening, not in the auditory sense, but in the experience of harkening, attending, and actually hearing.

Trio Sowari is comprised of Phil Durant, the English violinist turned electronics specialist, Swiss saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, and German percussionist Burkhard Beins. This release, like 2005's Three Dances (Potlatch Records), is a schooled recording, favoring restraint over noise and texture over chaos.

Don't plan to get up and dance to this music. It requires attention to pick up clues from the sounds. The trio keeps things, for the most part, unobtrusive and placid without becoming apathetic. That's because the three interact so well. Betrand Denzler who has worked with Jean-Luc Guionnet, Stephane Rives, and Frederic Blondy, is a master of the breathy saxophone; mining his instrument for pop, inhalations, clicks and over-blown notes. Paired with percussionist Burkhard Beins (Phosphor) and superstar Phil Durrant, the saxophonist falls into the groove. Well, maybe not a groove so much as a conscious style.

The listening experience here is either the confounding question of who made what sound or it is simply a reflection on the textures created. From the on/off switching of the very short "Piercing" pieces, with lengths from 17 seconds to 1:19 to the rumble of "Moving Targets" and the ticking of "Dots #2," the sounds offer the meditative simplicity of the acoustics of electricity that cannot be ignored. It's unclear how or what they've done, but surely Trio Sowari has done it again.

Track Listing: Piercing #1; Piercing #2;Piercing #3; Piercing #4; Piercing #5; Britzelfeld; Corridor; Dots #1; Triton; Vitesse; Trespassing; Dots #2; Moving Targets.

Personnel: Phil Durrant: software sampler/treatments; Bertrand Denzler: tenor saxophone; Burkhard Beins: percussion and objects.

Record Label: Potlatch Records

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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