Now residing in New York City, Germany-reared drummer Joe Hertenstein employs musicians from Europe or the US and to some extent, merges the avant-garde strata and stylistic tendencies into an opportunistic creative forum. This trio outing is a prime example. Featuring Viennese bassist Achim Tang and American tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, the album pronounces a shrewd conglomeration of avant- garde minimalism, and excitable free-jazz with nervy sensibilities. Hertenstein is a master at complementing his band mates' gait via meticulously designed tom rolls and rendering crisp, understated jazz drumming amid vociferous free-bop cadences.
"Seven for Nothing" is one of the more captivating tracks as Tang opens with a booming groove, layered by Irabagon's angst-ridden screeches, popping notes, linear flurries and gruff musical demeanor. Here, Tang is the conductor. And while the fragmentally flowing choruses may seem a tad introspective, the band's impetus is indubitably assertive.
The piece rolls along with an oddball concoction of avant expressionism and contorted funk. They methodically raise the pitch and drift the momentum as the drummer injects some slick stick-work into the closing minutes, answered by Irabagon and Teng's terse responses. Their shrewdly engineered closeout casts a zesty contrast to the overall muse for an album stuffed with gobs of mind candy and rousingly entertaining attributes.
Future Drone; Panic ballad; The Mirror; The Ticker; Two Days Ahead; Seven for
Nothing; Rotten Strawberry; Ballad for Paul & Poo; Breaking a Vow.
Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Achim Tang; upright bass; Joe Hertenstein: drums.
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