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Pascal Niggenkemper Vision7: Lucky Prime

Glenn Astarita By

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Vision 7 led by French-German bassist Pascal Niggenkemper is an ensemble that approaches modern-jazz, free-jazz and improvisation from a holistic perspective, including sensibilities framed on the respective artists personalities. The interconnecting motifs are vastly expressive, including Emile Lesbros' voice overlays, recitations, scat and function as an additional instrument. The band executes a parade of disparate angles, featuring renowned reedman Frank Gratkowski. With fractured theme-building escapades and some rough and tumble improv segments, the musicians ingrain a renegade outlook into the grand schema.

Underscored by the instrumentalists unbridled energy, the music is pivoted on the discordant side amid garrulous festivities, where Lesbros' voice sometimes acts as an intermediary. They also instill a bit of whit and whimsy in various movements. On "I Don't Know Why, But This Morning," they gel to off-center rhythmic diatribes, along with one or more of the artists' laughing spells, leading to music that is argumentative and encouraged by Lesbros who prompts multipart dialogues among the band. Yet the tide shifts on "Ke Belle," which is a fractured journey, emphasized by Gratkowski's angst-laced lines and Lesbros' hallowed vocal chants. However, "Sortir de la Colere," is one of the more interesting pieces on the album, as Euro-folk meets genial, jazz-centric horns choruses, intersected by Eve Risser's trickling piano voicings.

No doubt about it, there's a lot going on under the proverbial hood, and as eminent saxophonist Michael Attias points out in the album liners, the presentation is more suited for one continuous listen. However, the frenetic pace and rapid paradigm shifts tend to become a little neurotic in scope. Ultimately, Lucky Prime may loom as a product that is largely intended for acquired tastes.

Track Listing: Carnet Plein D’histoires; Dia de los Muertos; Feuertreppe; En Urgence; I Don’t Know Why, But This Morning; Ke Belle; Lance die Lanze; Sortir de la Colere.

Personnel: Christian Lillinger: drums; Els Vandeweyer: vibraphone, marimba; Emilie Lesbros: voice; Eve Risser: piano, prepared piano; Frank Gratkowski: bass clarinet; Frantz Loriot: viola; Pascal Niggenkemper: double bass, composition.

Title: Lucky Prime | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

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