294

Boom Box: Jazz

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Boom Box: Jazz Some might think there an element of presumption in titling a CD Jazz, but German saxophonist Thomas Borgmann gets right to the essence in this set by his Boom Box trio, with drummer Willi Kellers and bassist Akira Ando: spontaneous three-way conversations which swing. Borgmann has a back story that takes in iconoclasts such as saxophonists Peter Brötzmann and Charles Gayle, and pianist Borah Bergman, so the lyrical freedom which he purveys here may come as something of a surprise. A disc by his outstanding BMC threesome, the precursor to his current combo, was called Organic (The Lotus Sound, 1997), and that would be an appropriate label for this offering, too.

While writing credits are apportioned equally between the participants, the six tracks spanning this generous 76-minute studio session actually sound like extemporized constructs with loosely sketched themes. Improvised or not, they are notable for their tuneful nature and the restraint evident in their measured evolution and structure. A high level of responsiveness and communication is necessary to make everything work and seem so natural.

Borgmann splits his time between chirruping full-toned soprano and expressive tenor saxophone, often within the same piece, though he appears noticeably more likely to explore overblown shrieking exhortations on the latter. On both horns he creates simple, folkloric melodies, which he develops with nagging motifs, occasionally lengthening his lines into yelping dissonance or gruff barking. Kellers and Ando combine well in a simpatico free rhythm section, underpinning Borgmann with a buoyant rhythmic latticework. Kellers demonstrates a keen timbral awareness, extracting varied sonorities from his kit through his mallets and steel pan, while Ando maintains a busy counterpoint and insistent pulse.

To some extent the separate pieces are cut from the same cloth, but that hardly matters when the material is so fine. Typical is "Hey Little Bird" where, after a tumbling drum introduction, Borgmann sets out a beautiful dirge on soprano, becoming gradually more assertive, piping with an eastern tonality. An arco bass threnody leads to meditative tenor saxophone, passing through various moods until reaching a joyous celebratory conclusion. Elsewhere, "Albert & Frank" paraphrases Albert Ayler's "Ghost" in a an ecstatic incantation before the reedman switches to soprano for further melodic variations, while "Only For Dörte" begins as a tenor ballad backed in spacey conversation by bowed bass and steel pan. Breathy solecisms give way to the leader's harmonica evoking a poignant calypso feel, rounding off this attractive outing in satisfying style.

Track Listing: Little Birds May Fly; How Far Can You Fly?; Hey Little Bird; And To Where? Albert & Frank; Only For Dörte.

Personnel: Thomas Borgmann: tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophone, harmonica; Akira Ando: double bass; Willi Kellers: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v. | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Behind The Mist CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Salão Brazil CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Sedimental You CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Troy Collins
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Iceland" CD/LP/Track Review Iceland
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by James Nadal
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Morph" CD/LP/Track Review Morph
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 2, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!