Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

21

Mock Grandeur: 2

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This Swiss label that abides by a musician-run collective manifesto has produced a limited edition of 100 CDs —also available via digital downloads —of this quartet comprised of a dual-sax attack, guitar and drums. As the lack of a bassist gives this band some flexibility based on the openness and odd-metered cadences they project throughout these 25, largely brief and concise abstract excursions.

The minimalist CD cover and lack of song titles printed on the sleeve—although I did find the cryptic track titles on the web —intimates an in-your-face, no frills presentation. Hence, the quartet executes taut and fractured grooves, false-endings and off-centered sound designs, as young free-form guitarist Sascha Henkel often covers the lower tonal ranges with terse chord phrasings, synched with drummer Alex Huber's asymmetrical grooves. Moreover, alto saxophonists' Benjamin Weidekamp and Christian Weidner's sprightly dialogues set off most of the fireworks, interconnected by varying routes, ascending mini-themes and some playful mayhem.

Henkel goes berserk on the album opener "TS," where his feverish strumming, fed with gobs of distortion equates to a torrid search and destroy mission as Huber whips everything into submission. Think of avant-garde, hyper-extreme death metal. But moving forward, the guitarist tones it down while often contrasting and accenting the hornists amid nimble picking and partnering with Huber who often steers the momentum.

The quartet's emotive outpourings and intermittent moments of aggression are consistent traits on a per-track basis. Here, every piece is a mini-adventure. However, the sum of the buoyantly moving parts communicates a session that highlights the saxophonists' feisty dialogues, periodically suggest notions of instability, unrest or social chaos. On the final track "BT," Weidekamp and Weidner apply vocal characteristics to choruses instilled with discordant extended notes, possibly alluding to an equilibrium between angst and merriment. So, if you're looking for background music, then you're out of luck, but if expanding your mind and jolting your nervous system is the primary objective then this album may fit the bill.

Track Listing: TS; #4; #21; BS; BCS; 17; CB; TC; CS; S; BC; STC; B; BCST; #20; #2; T; CBT; BST; C; #6; TSCB; #21-1; #7; BT.

Personnel: Sascha Henkel: guitar/composition; Benjamin Weidekamp: alto saxophone; Christian Weidner: alto saxophone; Tobias Backhaus: drums.

Title: 2 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: WER WideEarRecords

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017