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...

5

Kang Tae Hwan: Live At Cafe Amores

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
South Korean reedman Kang Tae Hwan is one of the foremost exponents of solo saxophone in the Far East. While he has featured in groups, notably Ton Klami who can be heard on Prophecy Of Nue (NoBusiness, 2017), his conception is so singular that it may be best appreciated in undiluted form. Which makes Live At Cafe Amores a prime exhibit to further awareness of his extraordinary art. It's another in the Lithuanian label's ongoing series of unreleased Chap Chap label recordings licensed from Japan. His combination of multiphonics, overtones and sustained circular breathing recalls some of AACM reedman Roscoe Mitchell's solo outings, while he also sometimes suggests a more serene Evan Parker.

Kang thrills with astonishingly controlled use of overblowing to reveal the vibrating harmonics of his alto saxophone. What's all the more impressive is that it sounds completely purposeful but is achieved almost naturally without any ostentation. "Solo I" presents the perfect example of the rarefied atmosphere on offer. Kang sets out a sequence of deliberately-paced prolonged notes remarkable for their consistency and purity, spiced with split tones, in a meditative stream. He occasionally dips into a broad vibrato by way of variation, then later introduces a spiraling equivalent to a double time passage amid the continued drawn-out notes.

Pentatonic melodies create an Eastern vibe, and sometimes as in "Solo II" even evoke Scottish folk music, a feeling exacerbated by use of a skirling bagpipes-like pitch. Although Kang works with the same building blocks throughout, he succeeds in giving each of the five pieces a distinct flavor, no mean feat when working with such a self-imposed restricted palette, as many other improvisers have discovered to their cost. In "Solo III" he intersperses intermittent short dancing phrases and rhythmically-inflected oscillating frequencies, while in "Solo IV" he juxtaposes flutter-tongued wickering with the elongated tones.

At over 68-minutes it's an hypnotic if somewhat intense listen, so perhaps the most appropriate strategy is to sample one track at a time when in the mood to admire Kang's unrivalled mastery.

Track Listing: Solo I; Solo II; Solo III; Solo IV; Solo V.

Personnel: Kang Tae Hwan: alto saxophone.

Title: Live At Cafe Amores | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019