Sometimes one must pass through the flames to get free. That thought has shadowed the career of Silke Eberhard. The saxophonist has been consumed with the firebrands Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman for years now. She has recorded Dolphy's complete oeuvre with her band Potsa Lotsa, both in small and large configurations. Covered Mingus in the trio I Am Three. She also took on a large chunk of Coleman's music in duo with pianist Aki Takase on Ornette Coleman Anthology (Intakt Records, 2007).
Eberhard's found freedom may be best represented in her trio with bassist Jan Roder (Die Enttäuschung, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Ulrich Gumpert) and drummer Kay Lübke (Potsa Lotsa, Berlin Improvisers Orchestra). Being The Up And Down is the trio's fourth release and second on Intakt Records, after The Being Inn (2017).
While Eberhard's alto saxophone sound has absorbed both that of Coleman and Dolphy, she doesn't trade in nostalgia. Like fellow alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, she is on a continual mission to advance the music. Recorded in both a live and studio setting, the energy is ever apparent here as the trio traverses Eberhard's tricky and intricate compositions. The stumbling dance of "U11" conceals the compositions intricacy. Just when you might believe the wheels are about to come off, the trio swings a gotcha passage and rescues the listener. This faux-abandon is a prevalent theme here and only with an ultra-tight ensemble can these maneuvers be accomplished. The saxophonist burns some Ornette Coleman matches on "Strudel" and exercises her Dolphy chops with "Van A Nach B," sticking to alto saxophone where you would expect a bass clarinet. The trio has a passion for the intricate "Laika's Descent," "Yuki Neko," and "Damenschrank," which also trades in extended technique from each player. Delightfully creative, the Silke Eberhard Trio is one high-yield and thriving ensemble.
U11; Strudel; Van A Nach B; Laika’s Descent; Hymne; Zeitlupenbossa; Damenschrank; Stray Around;