Y? by Robert Spencer
Y? by Glenn AstaritaMore articles about Bertrand Denzler Cluster
The headliner is, of course, tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, who starts off on the emblematic "Y?", the longest track, in middle gear, heats up to a fiery multiphonic boil, and then gives way to more vibes-like prepared piano. Ultimately Delbecq becomes difficult to distinguish from percussionist Norbert Pfammatter, whose jingles and jangles intersect not only with the piano sounds but with Labarrière's percussive plucking. In the ensuing and strange polyphonic soundscape one voice is difficult to distinguish from another; even Denzler contributes a percussive blast. Gradually an arch and haunted melody asserts itself, with a sly and brooding rhythm. Delbecq switches to ordinary piano in this section without altering the mood significantly. The heat returns gradually, with Denzler improvising with a jagged and effective cross-rhythmic sense.
The rest of the disc is an extrapolation of various elements that already show up in the sprawling "Y?". The frenetic "Trash" is less effective than the lengthy "Weird," which is quite mesmerizing as a kind of menacing 3AM ballad. Delbecq is on conventional piano, and acts as Denzler's chief foil, while the tenor man blows more sweetly than before. (On "Now," the following track, Denzler's fleetness even recalls Sonny Rollins on classic finger pieces like "B. Quick.") There is a bass/drums solo in the middle that somewhat saps the energy of the piece (the two rhythm players are better at the beginning of "Now"), but Denzler ably reestablishes the same gritty somnambulance as before.
An excellent disc.
Bertrand Denzler, ts; Beno
Record Label: Leo Records
Style: Modern Jazz
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