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The cast of European Echoes is incredibly formidable, representating a veritable dream orchestra populated by youthful incarnations of many of free improvisation's leading lights. But sadly the stilted sonics sometimes stand in the way of undiluted enjoyment of what’s transpiring. Bailey’s amplified and excoriating strings are at times the only individual voice discernable. Bennink and Favre blend together into a tumultuous tidal wave of percussion and the horns frequently crash against the undulating reef of pianos and basses in a single topographically textured mass. On the piece’s first part, Rutherford’s unctuous trombone is the first voice to rise successfully as a soloist out of the roiling mire. According to the notes, Bailey and Parker precede him, but both sound shackled to the ensemble to these ears and neither achieves escape velocity. Next up into the firing tube: what sounds like Brötzmann howling like his life depended on it against a clattering wall of drum-driven noise. Rava’s brittle brass follows, ascending and plummeting along the amplitudes of the ensemble torrent. Other band members raise their voices in encouragement, further raising the decibel level into the red on the recording microphones. The side winds up with a furious pitch from all three pianists in succession, pounding and pulverizing their respective rows of ivories to dust.
Part two continues the trend of single instrument-multiple musician assaults. First, there’s Bennink and Favre in a duel of percussive violence that once again tests the microphones’ mettle. The trio of bassists has at it next, wielding bows with scything accuracy and whipping up a storm of ferocious harmonics. Dudek, Steinmetz and Schoof pick up the pieces in quick succession, taking the album out to a rioutous close. Playing time is at a premium on this disc, much like the norm of ESP platters birthed on the other side of the Atlantic. Some listeners are likely to feel slighted by the album’s brevity, but it bears considering that this single piece is meant to stand-alone. Outtakes and alternates would have been welcome, but the performance works on its own terms just as well without them.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com