All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Anker / Courvoisier / Mori: Alien Huddle

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
There is something palpably happening in this program of improvisation which lends it distinction. In this trio of reeds, piano, and electronics it's not by any means the latter that is what might be called the rogue element. Instead the coalescence of the music as well as its frenetic moments provide its considerable substance. There's no doubt that this is music happening in real time, but the means by which it reaches that status are veiled, enticing in their very intangibility.

"Night Owl" perhaps best exemplifies this, not least because of the degree to which the music is shaded, impermissible of glare. The trio's momentum is governed by stealth and topped out by Anker's long tones on alto sax, while Courvoisier and Mori go to work on the details of trialogue, ensuring that any dogmatic quality the music might possess is the result of thought and contemplation.

Such rarefied realization is also a mark of "Dancing Rooster Comp," where an underlying motivation momentarily appears to be the undermining of tonality before the music enters a half-territory through which Cecil Taylor might previously have passed. Even if that is so, Sylvie Courvoisier's approach to the keyboard is less rhetorical by comparison, and she delights in reducing its tonality, working a minimal seam.

"Whistling Swan" strikes a different balance between acoustic and electric, with Anker's soprano sax vocabulary the opposite of expansionist in the face of Mori's sound threads, many seemingly conjured out of nothing save the air, and Courvoisier utilizing the piano's extended possibilities with the aim of undermining the silence in mind.

There's also music of expansive gesture here. Anker and Courvoisier engage in dialog as close to free jazz as anything here on "Crow and Raven." The feeling is rendered only more clearly when the following "Blackbird" emphasizes the alien of the disc's title. Music is again summoned up out of nothing, the passing moments marked in steps both faltering and purposeful at the same time. It's music worthy of deep listening, which is true of the entire program. Leaving the everyday, even as it rewards the effort of doing so, the profundity of the moment also reaches exalted status, making for music that's urgently alive even while it's shot through with contemplation.

Visit Lotte Anker, Sylvie Courvoisier and Ikue Mori on the web.

Track Listing: Morning Dove; Woodpecker Pecks; Sparkling Sparrows; Night Owl; Robins Quarrel; Dancing Rooster Comp; Whistling Swan; Crow And Raven; Blackbird; Ostrich War; Great White Heron.

Personnel: Lotte Anker: soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax; Sylvie Courvoisier: piano; Ikue Mori: electronics.

Title: Alien Huddle | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Intakt Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Intakt Records

Birdies For Lulu

Birdies For Lulu

Intakt Records


To Fly to Steal

Intakt Records

To Fly To Steal

To Fly To Steal

Intakt Records


Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "The Other Side of Time" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Side of Time
by Kevin Press
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Vintage Christmas Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Vintage Christmas Trio
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Converging Tributaries" CD/LP/Track Review Converging Tributaries
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Dreamsville" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Sculptures" CD/LP/Track Review Sculptures
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 2, 2018