550

Christian Weber: 3 Suits & a Violin

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
One of the unwritten idiomatic tenets of a lot of electro-acoustic improv is the sublimation of the individual for the collective cause. In the process, the sounds of itemized and identifiable instruments are often replaced with more implicit textures and shapes. Bassist Christian Weber is adept at this strategy having worked with some of the leading luminaries of amplification-inclusive abstract improvisation like Günter Müller and Norbert Möslang. He's also versed in more jazz-grounded improvisation as evidenced by recent projects with pianist Chris Wiesendanger and the ensemble Day & Taxi. Here, however, colors and intimations hold sway more often than explicit linear structures. Drones and semi-tonal oscillations are the regular currencies of the realm.

Weber's colleagues are similarly concerned with more conceptual and less tethered methods of sound production. A catholic jazz listener might be tempted to judge the music by what is largely absent. Weber's pieces might lack audible melody and harmony, but they are far from vacuous in terms of content or weight. Hans Koch has a reputation for register extremes, preferring reed choices that mine pitches at either end of the audible spectrum. He and guitarist Martin Siewert also employ a small but prevalent assortment of electronics that plays a direct roll in blurring the music's sharper angles as well as the boundaries between instruments. Christian Wolfarth rarely attends to his kit in a conventional sense, contributing scrapes and whispers rather than discrete beats. Cellist Michael Moser completes the quintet, his brittle plucking and bowing shadowing the lower pitched sequences of the leader.

The titles attached to the improvisations reflect the breadth of Weber's creative basin, bringing imagery of astronauts and Americana into an amalgam as singular as the music. "Pony Music unfolds in a disorienting wash of crackles and vibrations generated by bows on strings, breath through reed, and friction on drumheads. Weber sets up a pulsating pattern in the piece's final third flanked by insect percussion and fluttering reed chatter. "Sun Perspectives starts with nary a pause before another murmuring barrage of disparate, but somehow convergent, drones. Weber and Moser, bounce bows off their strings, joining Wolfarth's finger patter and Siewert's opaque ghost tones. "Camping Light Night and "Lone Star suggest the strongest semblances of individualism, the strings synchronizing with Koch's rippling bass clarinet as Siewert sets up spectral plectral signposts along the way. The disc's nebulous centerpiece, "Frogmouth stretches to just short of sixteen minutes, spooling out like an alien suite of whistling pitch clusters and Doppler drones, a fever dream with an oddly balladic mien. Weber's music isn't easy, but it's also not soon forgotten.


Track Listing: Pony Music; Sun Perspectives; Buzz Aldrin; Camping Night Light; Frogmouth; Lone Star.

Personnel: Christian Weber: bass; Hans Koch: bass clarinet, saxes, electronics; Michael Moser: cello; Martin Siewert: guitar, lap steel, electronics; Christian Wolfarth: drums.

Title: 3 Suits & A Violin | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hatology


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.