Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Liudas Mockūnas: Hydro 2

Vitalijus Gailius By

Sign in to view read count
Liudas Mockūnas, an iconic Lithuanian improvisation and jazz figure, still continues his exploration of water. By combining water and reeds he steps into an unpredictable and unique sonic meadow. His first attempt to put the bridle on water, Hydro, was released in 2017 by NoBusiness Records. At the end of 2018 the same label presented the second part, Hydro 2. Like its predecessor it is a solo record. Water and solo? On one hand that sounds promising, but on the other it is a little bit risky. Is it possible to cope with amorphous and, let's say, uncontrollable water by yourself?

Beginning with a brief comparison of Hydro and Hydro 2, the first part was prepared beforehand and studio-recorded , whereas Hydro 2 is pure improvisation captured at the "Improdimensija" concert series in Vilnius, on 5th of October 2017. Moreover, Hydro was divided into different suites in contrast to Hydro 2 which consists only one track. So, this second chapter of water-based musical epic is more complex, dynamic and intimate than its predecessor.

Hydro 2 begins with the gentle sound of bubbling water caused by a soprano sax bell sunk into it. But the album cannot be labeled a fluffy one. Hydro 2 dramaturgy could be expressed in a sinusoid graphic with its peaks and lows. In particular, those parts where the listener hears water-prepared soprano sax sound more gentle compared to non-prepared ones. At those points it seems that water somehow plays a comforter role on this record and turns on a more peaceful mood. In general, perhaps, it is inherent in water to bring us peace, and Liudas proves that.

The sonic variety of Hydro 2 just knocks listeners' socks off. This record has an enormous abundance of odd sounds and tunes. Reassuring bubbling water sound, soprano sax sometimes buzzing like a mosquito or bleating like a goat, or even the saxophonist's delicate puffs and breathing sounds amalgamate harmoniously in Hydro 2. Furthermore, Liudas just drops a bomb with quite a rare instrument, a keyless overtone saxophone which was created for educational purpose, i.e., to improve overtone playing technique. In the context of Hydro 2, the keyless overtone sax sounds extremely powerful, deep and, because of the jaw-dropping tonguing technique of Liudas, it just bursts into colorful sonic bloom. Moreover, it marks a turning point to a more aggressive manner and staccato articulation as well.

What is more, Liudas, who is an adherent of acoustic sound, does not use any effects (delay, reverb, etc.) on this record. Such an acoustic approach asks the listener to focus on the nature of sound, on its primeval origins and to dive into the boundless ocean of tones and overtones. The answer to the question asked at the beginning of the review is more than clear: Mockūnas definitely has found his own way to get in touch with water, and the result is more than rewarding.

Track Listing: Hydro 2

Personnel: Liudas Mockūnas: soprano, water prepared soprano and water prepared keyless overtone saxophones

Title: Hydro 2 | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Hydro 2

Hydro 2

NoBusiness Records
2018

buy
Plunged

Plunged

Barefoot Records
2017

buy
 

Lava

ILK Music
2012

buy
Drop It

Drop It

NoBusiness Records
2012

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019