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Zlatko Kaucic: L Tolminski Punt

Nic Jones By

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Percussionist and composer Zlatko Kaucic has recorded previously for the Splas(c)h label, but L Tolminski Punt may be his best-realized project to date. All the elements that have figured in his music in the past are here again, which is a sign of coherent musical thinking and the fact that his artistic vision is coming together in a way that's an inevitable by-product of every form of artistic expression.

The instrumental line-up here serves inherently to lift the music out of the ordinary and into its own realm, and the distinctiveness of Kaucic's writing for strings in particular is the work of a musician who's really getting to grips with the potentially vexed issue of self-expression. "Tolminski Punt #2" is, for all intents and purposes, a fully realized miniature in this regard, with the strings and Kaucic's percussion coming together to create a piece that is in thrall to nuance and sensitivity in the most constructive of ways. It makes for tantalizing listening.

"Tolminski Punt #5" comprises the backbone of the disc, however, and not just in terms of length, which at nearly forty minutes is enough to ensure that it makes up just over half the entire program. On a deeper level it finds reedman Peter Brötzmann on some of his best recent form on record, and in that respect ranks alongside Tales Out Of Time (hatOLOGY, 2004). The extended tenor sax/percussion duo here could also be a lengthier realization of some of the pieces John Coltrane cut in the company of Rashied Ali on Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1967). Equally significant, the piece also affords Brötzmann the chance to show off the lyrical strand of his playing that in the past has been most evident in his solo work.

In the fourteenth minute the music enters a passage in which sax is shaded by quiet percussion, and the two men seemingly think as one. Such variations in dynamics and intensity ensure that the listener's attention does not wane, and the fact that the resulting facets hang together so naturally is great credit to the way these musicians evidently established the deepest intuitive understanding.

After such an overwhelming musical experience in the best sense "Tolminski Point #6" and "#7 could well have come across as anticlimactic. They don't, and instead they offer an insight into a different facet of Kaucic's art. "#6 is simultaneously both lyrical and agitated and, for much of its duration, calls to mind the music British drummer John Stevens put out with his much larger Spontaneous Music Orchestra.

Overall this is music purged of false sentiment and the kind of studied moves that makes for music too mired in the past to tell us anything about the present. Ultimately it proclaims the ageless virtues of individual creativity. The fact that it's not anchored in overly tried-and-tested harmonic and melodic formulas only adds to that heightened feeling of individuality.


Track Listing: Tolminski Point #1 to #7.

Personnel: Zlatko Kaucic: drums, percussion; Rahela Grasselli: violin; Barbara Zorz: cello; Eva Julija Recnik: cello. Special Guest: Peter Br

Title: L Tolminski Punt | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Splasc(H) Records


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