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Carate Urio Orchestra: Ljubljana

Glenn Astarita By

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This European sextet possesses a diverse bag of tracks as each piece presents a contrasting outlook: they're not content to belabor a particular motif or idea. Featuring notables and solo artists, reedman Joachim Badenhorst and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, this recording is culled from an appearance at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia. However, it is noted that "the album follows the same set-list as the concert ... but some of the chosen takes are from the day before without the audience."

Stylistically, the program spans avant-garde jazz along with big band style charts, pop music and fragile interludes. Several arrangements include drawling, extended note choruses and liquefying deconstruction escapades. Moreover, the band allows soloists to stretch with sparse accompaniment in certain passages, but "Amemasu" is a piece teeming with electronics and a cosmic foray that is pleasantly strange. But they switch gears on "Chhia-cham," which is a mock 1960s pop soul jaunt framed on wordless vocal choruses (all the musicians sing on this track) amid either Nico Roiq or Sean Carpio's heavily distorted electric guitar phrasings.

The plot takes another detour on "Turning Inwards, like a Glove," which is a semi-free acoustic-electric jaunt, tinted with odd soundscapes, wailing psycho guitar riffs and converging horns. Here, the band executes a sequence of evolving subplots. Yet "Conducted," is an experimental work via some minimalist-like tinkering and inconsequential developments; although it's the least interesting track on the album. But they light it up on the final piece "Vers la Chute," that is built on anthem-like horns progressions, flourishing themes and a loosely articulated sonic bombardment. Overall, it's an entertaining rendezvous by an ensemble that seemingly excels as a live act.

Track Listing: Winterthur / accords dans l’air; Epic Silent; Amemasu; Electreiki; Chhia – cham; Turning Inwards, like a Glove; Sola ni Mayagali; A Winter Light; Conducted; Vers la Chute.

Personnel: Joachim Badenhorst: clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Eirikur Orri Olaffson: trumpet, electronics; Sean Caprio: drums, guitar, lead vocal (5); Brice Soniano: double bass; Pascal Niggenkemper: double bass; Frantz Loriot: viola, lead vocal (7); Nico Roig: guitar; Everyone vocals on (1, 5).

Title: Ljubljana | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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