375

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
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 "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Kami Fusen" CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Whisper to the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper to the Wind
by Jim Olin
Published: September 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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