All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

168

Ellery Eskelin with Andrea Parkins & Jim Black: Kulak, 29 & 30

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Kulak, 29 & 30 was recorded live at Kulak, Berikon, Switzerland, on October 29 and 30, 1997, by the innovative trio of Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Andrea Parkins (accordion and sampler), and Jim Black (percussion). In the liner notes Ellery Eskelin explains that "I'm constantly looking for structural methods to change existing and assumed paradigms in improvised music, sometimes blurring the line between written and improvised material but more often creating a highly defined distinction."

That's exactly what's happening on Kulak, 29 & 30. "Departure Lounge," the opening and defining track, begins with a series of lightning shifts from a funky beat (over which Eskelin's tenor sails) to thoughtful rubato accordion riffs from Parkins, and back again. Finally the funk beat wins out, and Eskelin improvises over it with melodic sensibility but a keen individuality and awareness of post-Albert Ayler and even post-Evan Parker tenor saxophone innovations. Parkins builds a gradual ascent with him as Black's funk rhythms shift and churn; at the piece's climax Eskelin and Parkins are playing with a stately mien (rubato) over the funk, which finally gives up as tenor and accordion duet to climax the piece before the drums return for a passionate finale. This bravura track shows this trio at their best - both in their imaginative reconstructions and recombinations of generic material, and in their tremendous instrumental ability and appeal.

The other tracks contain the same unexpected shifts, carried off with aplomb. "Fifty Nine" is immediately less rhythmically-based, as it is built on some ecclesiastical sonorities from Parkins; but after Eskelin enters to work a repeating, subtly mutating figure, Black solos at the center of the piece, which then returns to the same lunar landscape where it began. "Visionary of the Week" begins similarly, but goes in completely different directions. Nor is that the end of the ride. "Rhyme or Reason" and "Organum" build from quiet edgy noises (with Eskelin at his most Evan Parkerish). On "Rhyme or Reason" there suddenly appears a thoroughly surprising Parkins ostinato, and some marvelous melodic inventiveness from Eskelin; "Organum" sustains the original mood longer, but takes it also into uncharted ground. "Expubidence" is a brief tripartite dialogue that shows Eskelin ranging all over the stylistic map in the smallest of spaces.

Kulak, 29 & 30 is a fascinating document of one of today's top trios at work. Don't miss it.


Title: Kulak, 29 & 30 | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Trio New York II

Prime Source Recordings
2013

buy
 

Trio New York

Prime Source Recordings
2011

buy
Quiet Music

Quiet Music

Prime Source
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Influences" CD/LP/Track Review Influences
by Don Phipps
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Rabble Rouser" CD/LP/Track Review Rabble Rouser
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Making Other Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Kisaragi" CD/LP/Track Review Kisaragi
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2017