Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

5

Axel Dörner/Franz Hautzinger/Mazen Kerbaj/Carl Ludwig Hübsch: Ariha Brass Quartet

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The visual component of music has seemingly always been given short shrift by critics, and for that matter, listeners too. Except for the rare instances where a person is born with an acute synesthesia, or the ability to see musical notes as colors or shapes, perception of sound is limited to emotion and the sensation of movement i.e. dance music. Improvised music, especially minimalist improvisation practiced by the Ariha Brass Quartet maybe the best avenue for a listener to develop their own form of synesthesia.

The practitioners here, three trumpeters, Axel Dörner, Franz Hautzinger, Franz Hautzinger, and Carl Ludwig Hübsch hoisting a tuba, practice a unique approach to their instruments. Dörner's horn has been featured in the modern jazz ensembles of Alexander von Schlippenbach, Ken Vandermark, and Sven Ake Johansson, and the post-bebop revival bands Peeping Tom and Die Enttäuschung. Similarly, Hautzinger's work in the Max Nagl Ensemble and Hübsch in Michiel Braam's Hybrid 10tet may not prepare you for this otherworldly experience. All four musicians set aside a traditional approach to playing, substituting breathe for notes, abandoning a mouthpiece, and applying amplification to microscopic sounds.

The quartet recorded this session in Beirut 2013, after a week's residency and performances. The four like-mind players open the disc with "Mar Mikhael in The Afternoon," the longest improvisation at 16-plus minutes. The fluttering of notes is accompanied by the snorting of unseen wild beasts and the coyote howls of brass. Their language, developed in the past 20 years or so, is a direct descendant from the European (as opposed to the American) systems and improvisers such as Derek Bailey, Eddie Prevost's AMM, and Paul Rutherford.

Stripped of the conventions of noted music, the growls and micro-notes would not be out of place in sci-fi cinema as the backdrop to the silence of an orbiting space station. The squiggles and on/off switches of sounds inhabit the ghosts in the machines of the imagination, but also the rumble and hum of the earth's inner core. "Hamra Drinks" buzzes with the low (really low) bass reverberation and the looping notes of trumpet that take on an organic biologic shape. Each piece conjures a response be it a visual, an emotional, a fragrance, a flavor, or something tactile. Ahira Brass Quartet opens the listening experience to all five senses.

Track Listing: Mar Mikhael in The Afternoon; Gemmayzeh Drinks; Armenian Coffee; Hamra Drinks; The Last Supper in Sin el Fil.

Personnel: Axel Dörner: trumpet; Franz Hautzinger: trumpet; Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet; Carl Ludwig Hübsch: tuba.

Title: Ariha Brass Quartet | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Al Maslakh Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review Reimagined
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "There Is No Love" CD/LP/Track Review There Is No Love
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "My Picture" CD/LP/Track Review My Picture
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!