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Trespass Trio featuring Susana Santos Silva: Live In Oslo

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Trespass Trio featuring Susana Santos Silva: Live In Oslo
Although Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen is the toast of festival-goers across Europe for the variously sized Angles ensembles he fronts, which revel in sometimes exuberant, sometimes heart-rending riff-fuelled anthems, he also pursues somewhat more somber strands of expression.

One involves the sort of adventurous sonic explorations heard on Animal Quotes (Relative Pitch, 2022). But another, and the one heard on Live In Oslo, finds him in small group settings designed to negotiate his often dirge-like compositions. For this splendid recording from the city's 2018 Blow Out Festival, Küchen supplements his Trespass Trio with the inspired addition of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva.

The repertoire may be familiar from earlier Trespass Trio outings, as all the selections appear on either Human Encore (Clean Feed, 2013), on which Joe McPhee guested or The Spirit Of Pitesti (Clean Feed, 2017) by the core threesome, completed by bassist Per Zanussi and drummer Raymond Strid. However Silva proves such a perfect match for both Küchen's simple but affecting charts and his emotion-laden reeds, that this might well be the best of the bunch.

The trumpeter gets to reveal both her innate lyricism as well as her increasingly wide experimental timbral streak, as she loosely interweaves with Küchen's anguished baritone saxophone in exchanges which teeter ambiguously between the joyous and mournful. While attention is primarily drawn towards the horns, they wouldn't have the same impact without the finely tuned foundation provided by Zanussi and Strid. Nor do they confine themselves to support: listen to how Zanussi's exquisitely judged high arco whistle colors the frayed theme reprise on the hymn like final "In Tears."

Although the outfit's improv chops are never far below the surface, they emerge in sharpest definition on the quick changing "A Different Koko." Here Küchen uncases his sopranino saxophone for a welter of bleats, guffaws and squawks, circling Silva's waspish trumpeting atop cantering bass and a propulsive drum tattoo, before a squeaky toy sonority conclusion which suggests that even the most accomplished free playing might not always take itself too seriously. Could it be any better? Only by being longer than its 39-minute running time.

Track Listing

A Desert On Fire, A Forest; The Spirit Of Pitesti; A Different Koko; Sounds & Ruins; In Tears.

Personnel

Martin Kuchen
saxophone
Per Zanussi
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Martin Küchen: baritone, sopranino saxophones

Album information

Title: Live In Oslo | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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