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Maggie Nicols, Caroline Kraabel, Charlotte Hug.: On Dizziness

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Maggie Nicols, Caroline Kraabel, Charlotte Hug.: On Dizziness
Maggie Nicols, Caroline Kraabei and Charlotte Hug first came together as a trio in the autumn of 2000 when they played together in Nicols' front room. In May 2001 they came together again, playing a concert at the (now defunct) Freedom of the City festival in London's Conway Hall. At the same venue, on June 4th, 2001, they were recorded, without an audience, by Martin Davidson for his Emanem label. The resulting album, Transitions was released on the label in 2002. Featuring Nicols' voice, Kraabel's alto saxophone and voice, and Hug's viola improvising, the album comprised seven tracks ranging in length from 2:08 to 13:16, with the balanced interactions between the three women being near perfect.

Now, recorded on June 4th, 2022 (yes, exactly twenty-one years after Transitions was recorded) in The Vortex, London, by Alex Ward, comes the trio's second ever album On Dizziness; that album title and all the other track titles quote or refer to poems by the Chinese-born poet Jenny Xie who is now resident in New York City. The album's nine tracks range from 5:00 to 10:58, giving it a dynamic similar to that of Transitions. The two albums together certainly make an interesting pair; heard back-to-back one could believe they were recorded twenty-one days apart, not twenty-one years. Compared to the earlier album, one small difference is that all three women are credited with voice here. As Kraabel and Hug were both playing instruments, it is unsurprising that Nicols' voice dominates. Nonetheless, when all three vocalise together, the effect is very impressive.

In the April 2002 All About Jazz review of Transitions, it was noted that Kraabel was six months pregnant when that album was recorded, and also that all-female trios were comparatively scarce at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, both of those facts seem incredible.

Despite the time lapse between this trio's two albums, On Dizziness shows that they are still in excellent shape. We must hope it will not be another twenty-one years until they record as a trio again.

Track Listing

On Dizziness; A Violent Stirring of the Interior; Unfolding By Churns; Begin By Disequilibrium; Slurred Echoing Eye; What Gets Poured Inside is the Outside; Perhaps This is Doubt; Slippery Standard Belief; A Useful Beginning.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Caroline Kraabel: voice; Charlotte Hug: voice.

Album information

Title: On Dizziness | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Creative Sources Recordings


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