63

Lucas Niggli: Alchemia Garden

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Lucas Niggli: Alchemia Garden
Powerhouse Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli augments this solo effort with ethnocentric percussion instruments, that largely emphasizes his well-rounded musical approach. He draws inspiration from his gardening hobby, classical composers and fellow countryman, drumming great Pierre Favre. As a leader and collaborator, Niggli's longstanding affiliation and extensive discography with this pioneering Swiss label features a cavalcade of genre-busting endeavors. The artist has recorded with the likes of New York experimental guitarist Elliot Sharp and Chinese zither performer Xu Fengia along with his Zoom and Big Zoom bands amid alliances with many Euro-jazz notables.

Niggli does not simply bash his drums or executes one drum solo after another. Instead, he angles his scope of attack with broad tonal ranges, melodic toms patterns and nouveau tribal expositions during many of these concisely enacted tracks. Sure, he engineers a host of polyrhythmic frameworks, using small percussion apparatuses constructed from wood and metal and a wide spectrum of cymbals. Niggli balances ricocheting effects with precision-oriented grooves, introspective world music-like interludes and ornamental shadings.

The drummer gives himself some latitude to expand and contract on "Tuned Arrow," where his gong hits project a transcendent background that is somewhat detached and provides depth, countered by his nimble bells and low-pitched drum articulations. Here, Niggli elicits imagery of exploring a newfound cave somewhere in an unexplored remote wilderness. Yet "Ooze," is characterized with strumming and scraping sounds, presumably using exotic instruments from Asia or Africa. Other movements are designed with shakers and tambourine style implements via sound-shaping jaunts that signal notions of ancient rituals or at the very least, a sense of antiquity. Thankfully, Niggli opts for a harmonious line of attack as each piece stands on its own, although there are some movements where he launches full-blown aerial assaults on his kit.

Track Listing

Alchemia Garden; Flora Glow; Bakossi Dew; Go Goblin; Tuned Arrow; Seeds ’n’ Roots; Ooze; Mimosa; Pulsatilla; Booloobali; Ohia Lehua; Nelumbo Nero; Villa Caroba; Welwitschia; Hydnora.

Personnel

Lucas Niggli: drums, percussion.

Album information

Title: Alchemia Garden | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Intakt Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Garden of Expression
Garden of Expression
Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi
Read Rain Painting
Rain Painting
John Stowell & Dan Dean
Read Beyond
Beyond
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)
Read New Sounds
New Sounds
New Faces
Read Backwards Compatible
Backwards Compatible
The 8-Bit Big Band
Read Rain Painting
Rain Painting
John Stowell / Dan Dean

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.