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Urs Leimgruber - Alex Huber: Lightnings

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Resistant"

Wide Ear Records is a nascent Swiss experimental jazz label, co- founded by drummer Alex Huber who performs here, in a duo setting with his fellow countryman and eminent improviser, saxophonist Urs Leimgruber. Hence, the musicians generate some cerebral merry-making on this set via the saxophonist's gyrating and stunted battle cries and the customary call and response processes, integrated with Huber's highly musical approach. The 4 tracks spawn a hodgepodge of torrential downpours and quieter parts, constructed on menacing flows and Leimgruber's bristling 16th note flurries for a program that stacks up to be a perpetual discovery process.

"Resistant" is an extended workout where the duo pulls out the proverbial stops amid the saxophonist's creaky phrasings and angular eruptions. Here, the musicians seemingly dictate the current with emotive proclivities, sketched with spontaneous combustion and temperate or inward-looking dialogues. Huber does more than simply sustain an asymmetrical groove by using his brushes and percussion arsenal to counteract or mimic his partner's line of attack. They frame many of the sequences on tonal shifts, but towards the end, Leimgruber imparts a free-bop modus operandi with succinct melodies and bluesy choruses as the artists step up the pace, featuring their adept use of space. No doubt, it's a raw and stripped-down improv fest, driven by the duo's forthright voyage into parts unknown.

Personnel: Urs Leimgruber: tenor and soprano saxophones; Alex Huber: drums & percussion.

Title: Lightnings | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: WER WideEarRecords


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