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Kalle Kalima and K-18: Buñuel de Jour

Hrayr Attarian By

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Kalle Kalima and K-18: Buñuel de Jour
With the intriguingly seductive Buñuel De Jour guitarist Kalle Kalima and his quartet, the K-18, continue their paean to the rebel auteurs of cinema. Their third installment in this series, again on the Finnish TUM label, is obviously dedicated to the iconoclastic surrealist filmmaker, Luis Buñuel. His works themselves, not the scores, serve as inspiration to the dozen originals that comprise the album.

Each improvisation heavy piece truly reflects the spirit of its namesake. "Belle de Jour" for instance maintains the movie's enigmatic aura with the brief and tense exchanges among the band members. Saxophonist Mikko Innanen's luxurious and heady lines reflect its sensuality while Kalima's elegant dialogue with accordionist Trio Chaud with Veli Kujala in Helsinki Finland its subversive wit. Bassist Teppo Hauta- aho's reverberations quietly simmer in the background like the main character's passionate yet taboo fantasies.

Elsewhere on the ethereal "Tristana," and in keeping with the critique of rigid, social ritual, Kujala's solemn notes mimic the liturgical sounds of a baroque organ. As the other instruments enter, the melody grows fluid and tender but remains darkly hued. Reflecting the love triangle at the core of the story, Kalima and Innanen take turns serenading the main theme. The former uses eloquent and contemplative lines while the latter evocative serpentine phrases. Much like the film's more sinister ending, Hauta- aho's intensely lyrical solo fades into a mordant and stimulating melee of ensemble dissonance.

The tracks named after the bitter and intelligent satire "Simon of the Desert" and Buñuel's masterpiece "Viridiana," are imaginative collective extemporizations. On the first Innanen evokes sandy winds with his hornpipe while Kalima's wailing strings and the rustle of percussion reenact the dramatic climax. Kujala and Hauta-aho's expectant and ominous vamps usher Innanen's soft "villainous" howl that concludes the tune. The haunting performance on the latter is marked by a sublime abstraction. Despite its short duration, it is compelling and memorable as the sparse and wistful tones weave a somber lullaby.

Motion picture influenced extemporized music is nothing new but Kalima and his group bring an innovative twist to this exquisite union. Their creations are dedicated to the entire oeuvre of each iconic director and, as with their previous conceptually similar discs, they not only provoke and delight but also help rediscover these cineastes' legacies.

Track Listing

The Phantom of Liberty; The Milky Way, El Padre; Los Olvidados; Belle de Jour; Diary of a Chambermaid; The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie; Tristana; Simon of the Desert; That Obscure Object of Desire; An Andalusian Dog;Viridiana.

Personnel

Kalle Kalima: electric guitar and percussion; Mikko Innanen: alto saxophone, xaphoon and whistles (2), hornpipe with contact mic (9); Veli Kujala: quarter-tone accordion; Teppo Hauta-aho:double bass, percussion.

Album information

Title: Buñuel de Jour | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: TUM Records

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