4

Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas: Improdimensions

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas: Improdimensions
As one of Lithuania's premier improvisers, reedman Liudas Mockūnas has partnered an enormous array of visiting luminaries over the years. The duet is a favored format which has seen the multi-instrumentalist in tandem with bassist Barry Guy, drummer William Hooker and guitarist Marc Ducret, just to name those documented on NoBusiness Records.

Here the accomplished Catalan pianist Agusti Fernandez acts as the foil. The limited edition LP (also available as a download) comprises two three-part encounters recorded just over a year apart, during the titular concert series. It is a pairing of well-matched entities, in terms of inspiration, range of techniques and stylistic command.

With Mockūnas on soprano saxophone and Fernández at the extreme treble end of the keyboard, the opening "Improdimension I Part I" gets off to an explosive start. In the ensuing spurts of activity, the two principals listen and respond, matching dynamics and phrase length. At one point the pianist picks out a series of descending notes on the strings, fleetingly echoed by Mockūnas, as part of his ongoing flow. Moments like this reassure the listener that the connections which might not always be apparent in the glinting runs and corkscrewing reeds are in fact still there.

"Part II" illustrates another of the duo's strengths, their mastery of unusual timbres. Fernández answers Mockūnas' juddering harmonics, shrill whistles and urgent bleating with a single dampened Morse-coded note, then repeats the exact same cadence on the wires. Tumultuous clusters greet the reedman's honking climax. But then, providing one of the striking juxtapositions which litter the set, Mockūnas extemporizes a folky ditty, unspooling in super fluent spirals as Fernández rattles and crashes.

Other highlights include the dizzying parallel streams on "Part III" which touch on almost jazzy syncopation, the mystery evoked on "Improdimension II Part I" by Fernández' spare key strokes, and the subsequent manipulation of strings and pedals to make notes bend and reverberate, and his tour de force on the unaccompanied "Part II," all captured in excellent sound. "Part III" completes the sequence, not with a ballad or some other rapprochement, but with a full-on assault of noise, enlivened by Mockūnas' achievement of two simultaneous lines from his contrabass clarinet as Fernández taps and bangs.

Both sessions represent top drawer improvisation, sonically stimulating and viscerally enthralling.

Track Listing

Improdimension I Parts I-III; Improdimension II Parts I-III.

Personnel

Agusti Fernandez: piano; Liudas Mockūnas: woodwinds.

Album information

Title: Improdimensions | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read That Feeling
That Feeling
Eivind Austad
Read II
II
Nir Felder
Read Lotus-Pollen
Lotus-Pollen
Michael Robinson
Read Move On!
Move On!
Purdie Fabian Oswanski

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.