309

Ingrid Laubrock & Liam Noble: Let's Call This...

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Ingrid Laubrock & Liam Noble: Let's Call This... Though she's frequently heard on soprano saxophone, which she uses throughout this vividly painted little masterpiece of a disc, bandleader and composer Ingrid Laubrock has probably made her biggest impact as an instrumentalist on tenor. On the most recent release by her own band, Forensic (F-IRE, 2004), and in live performances with her own quintet and Polar Bear, the wild, off-the-page textural vocabulary Laubrock has created on the bigger horn has arrived amongst the most thrilling sounds in jazz.

But Laubrock plays with character on other horns, too, particularly, though not exclusively, the soprano. The low-down, low-register, baritone funk of "BLT" (on Forensic) was also a feature of her guest appearances with Tony Haynes' Grand Union Orchestra in its Bhangra, Babylon & The Blues concerts two years ago. (Laubrock emerged back-lit and Krishna-like from a cloud of dry ice, rumbling like a belligerent Gator Jackson.) At the same performances, she locked altos in a good humoured but gladiatorial cutting contest with fellow guest Jason Yarde.

Laubrock features the soprano centre-stage with her own band, with Monica Vasconcelos' NOIS 4, and in most guest situations, and Let's Call This..., a duo recording with the remarkable and empathetic pianist Liam Noble, shows why she loves it so much. As on the tenor, she combines sonic innovation with distinctive, often quite dark, harmonic invention. Her technique is breathtaking, and the broken notes, multiphonics, swoops, leaps, hollers and roars are perfectly articulated and controlled. And there's always structure in her improvisations, however out there and risky things get.

Daring, high-wire saxophone juju flashes throughout the album, but much of the time Laubrock and Noble focus on extended harmonic and rhythmic explorations of the tunes. There are six modern jazz standards (two by Monk, one each by Mingus, Ellington, Konitz and Dietz/Schwartz) and six originals. Most of the standards last around seven minutes, the originals around three. Polar Bear drummer and leader Sebastian Rochford adds subtle electronic modifications to four of the originals (the trippy, treble-register, piano mutations on "Spells" are especially effective).

Though not without some characteristically dark and edgy corners (it wouldn't be Laubrock without them), the album is an exhilaratingly playful and celebratory affair. Laubrock and Noble have worked together often enough to feel at ease in each other's company—but not so often as to lose a heightened sense of adventure.

After the whirlwind innovations of the last two years, Let's Call This... feels, in the best sense, like the restlessly exploratory Laubrock is pausing to reassess the eternal verities of classic tunes and changes, before setting off into unmapped territory once more. It's a trip alright, and who knows where the next stop will be.

Visit Ingrid Laubrock and Liam Noble on the web.


Track Listing: We See; Spells; Alone Together; The Electric Ant; Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love; Let's Call This; Peonies (After Hiroshige); Cells; Angelica; I'm At Your Throat Now; Subconscious-lee; Bells.

Personnel: Ingrid Laubrock: soprano saxophone; Liam Noble: piano; Sebastian Rochford: genetic modifications (2,4,8,10).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Babel Label | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Desertion" CD/LP/Track Review Desertion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Blues and Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Ballads
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Live InTokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live InTokyo
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Espiritu Zombi" CD/LP/Track Review Espiritu Zombi
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!