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Phil Haynes- Herb Robertson 5tet: Brooklyn-Berlin

Derek Taylor By

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Haynes and Robertson are erstwhile leaders on this outing, but a steadfast sense of group administration pervades the entire program. Clarinets play a pivotal role in he music and virtually every bud on the branch of that particular reed family is represented in instrument inventories of Rothenberg and Golia. Paired with the brittle corrugated brass of Robertson the end effect is a very unique frontline. Add to the aggregation the whisper sharp traps work of Haynes and the panoramic bass voice of Filiano, which can run from filament thin to capaciously fat and the probability for stimulating music is all but shored up. Together the group moves through an ear-opening array of familiar and unfamiliar territories. From New Orleans polyphony to collective free improvisation they cycle from Bacchanalian street shuffles to bouts of spirited reed sputtering and back again. Through it all they always seem bent on keeping their audience on its toes and Marc Rusch, the CIMP sound-team-of-one, renders all of their voicings in clean relief.

“Inner-lude” revolves almost completely around oblique horn mutterings, chattering split tones and splintered, near silent percussion. The relationships and forms become ambiguous and refracted to a fault until an audible anatomy begins to emerge toward the end. Golia gets the ball rolling on the title track with a flurried solo on what sounds like soprano clarinet. Haynes and Filiano join on a rising rhythmic crest and the piece subsides with a final coda from Robertson. Filiano opens the pastoral “Intending Heart,” a quiet reverie of gradual phrasings and porous interaction. On this piece Haynes showcases a very aerated approach dealing in light accents and muted textures that meshes beautifully with the bassist’s restrained chording. “Chompin’ at the Bit” masticates off the chewy center of Haynes’ ride cymbal and a fluctuating line by Filiano and the horns seem inspired by the fluid rhythmic underpinning capitalizing on the freedom to volley phrases back and forth. Rothenberg’s svelte clarinet pokes at the gaps before the horns converge in a striated cacophony tied loosely to the drummer’s shimmering cymbals. Golia follows with a corkscrew ascent on soprano clarinet prior to Haynes cadential close on snare. The first half of “Waltz for Gerry” is almost completely consumed by the garrulous clarinets, which range through a wide gamut of extended techniques from multiphonics to dissonance-laced circular breathing. Robertson eventually enters reshaping the mood into one of sorrow mixed with tempered resolve and the disc dissolves from whence it came.

CIMP on the web: http://www.cadencebuilding.com


Track Listing: Kiss Principal/ Inner-lude/ Brooklyn-Berlin/ Intending Heart/ Chompin

Personnel: Phil Haynes- drums; Herb Robertson- cornet, trumpet; Ned Rothenberg- bass clarinet, clarinet; Vinny Golia- clarinet, Eb soprano, Eb alto & bass clarinets; Ken Filiano- bass. Recorded: February 28 & 29, 2000, Rossie NY.

Title: Brooklyn-Berlin | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: CIMP Records


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