Norbert Stein Pata, Horns & Drums: Silent Sitting Bulls (2010)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
German saxophonist Norbert Stein's hefty discography surrounds French journalist Alfred Jarry's pseudoscience of pataphysics amid many existential relations of art, life and human imagination. With his various Pata-based ensembles, Stein's music intimates comprehensive manipulations of jazz and world music. Organic, yet equipped with brute force tactics, the saxophonist's compositions boats a native stylistic component, hugely evident on Silent Sitting Bulls.
The respective band members play a vital role in the rhythmic factor and they incorporate a curiously interesting poise that involves world beat pulses intertwined with linear and cyclical unison phrasings. Stein also affords the musicians plenty of room to expand and refresh a given theme. They skirt the free-zone as well, while often venturing into kaleidoscopic patterns, yet the differentiator with Stein's music lies within his broad scope of odd-metered developments and reengineering processes. And his unison lines with flutist Michael Heupel works quite well, since Stein's beefy and fluidly exercised tonalities are sublimed by the former's whispery notes.
The quartet continually offsets the program with temperate deviations and harmonious groove intervals, to complement the rough and tumble like expedition. Intricately arranged but loose and powerful, Stein also abides by an extreme depiction of peaks and valleys. Moreover, Nicolao Valiensi's euphonium work lays out a rather soft bottom end in concert with drummer Christoph Haberer's polyrhythmic cadences. Stein incorporates numerous checks and balances into the grand equation. Silent Sitting Bulls is a fascinating endeavor, and an album that should not go unnoticed.
Track Listing: Silent Sitting Bulls; Nondual Action; Paradise Lost; This is You; Quantum Mechanics; Schleuderhonig (Strained Honey); Miao & Chiao; Hapana Lakini.
Personnel: Norbert Stein: tenor saxophone; Michael Heupel: flutes; Nicolao Valiensi: euphonium; Christoph Haberer: drums, wavedrum.
Record Label: PATA Music