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Double Trio De Clarinettes: Itineraire Bis

Glenn Astarita By

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Prominent European purveyors of jazz clarinet fare—The Clarinet Trio and Le Trio De Clarinettes—align for a joint mission on this set that covers a wide spectrum of applications, ideas and surprises. They induce the sounds of nature and render highly melodic song forms while including doses of humor amid punchy motifs and hordes of delicate contrasts. At times the sextet operates within quiet and hauntingly introspective settings and launches circular ostinatos, used for sounding boards and assorted improvisational activities.

The divergent program is underscored on the jazz element, tinted with chamber and free-floating exchanges. The musicians merge unlikely instances of whimsy and austerity via a late-night vibe on "Bizarre," where they contract and offer space for individual soloists to expand. But there are some passages that are designed with frenzied jaunts and mesmeric choruses. On "Desert... Bleue... East," the musicians profess lament with gently interweaving choruses, then step it up a few notches with popping notes and calamitous outbursts during "Itineraries Bis," featuring laughter in the background. Here, the artists parlay a semblance of youthful wonderment.

"Launedas—(Die) Laune das (macht was)," is steeped in a loosely organized bump and grind groove, splattered with mini-themes and intersecting dialogues. It's also comprised of multi-register tonal swashes and shrewdly engineered improvisational parts. Indeed, the album sports an all-encompassing baseline and trajectory. After several listens it becomes difficult to imagine what else could have been pulled off. No doubt, Itineraire Bis is one of the finer clarinet-centric outings I have had the pleasure of previewing in quite some time.

Track Listing: Almost Twenty-Eight; Variationen uber Rauch und Moder; Bizarre; FAK!; Charles Town, But Yesterday…; Desert… Bleue… East; Catwalk Munzstrasse; Intineraire bis; Launedas – (Die) Laune das (macht was); Keks ist Fortschritt.

Personnel: The Clarinet Trio – Jurgen Kupke: clarinet; Michael Thieke: alto clarinet, clarinet; Gebhard Ullmann: bass clarinet. Le Trio De Clarinettes: Armand Angster: clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Sylvain Kassap: Eb clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet; Jean- Marc Foltz: clarinet, bass clarinet.

Title: Itineraire Bis | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Between the Lines


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