540

Circulasione Totale Orchestra: Open Port

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This largely high-impact orchestra launched in 1984 by Norwegian multi-reedman Frode Gjerstad is more of a collective, where young and veteran jazz-based improvisers pass through to abet the unit's continual evolution. It's an acoustic-electric format that might be analogous to a histogram amidst the abundance of pointy spikes and steady-state flows.

It's an international gala indeed, featuring vibraphonist Kevin Norton, cornetist Bobby Bradford and drummers Paal Nilssen-Love and Louis Moholo, who augment the thirteen-piece gathering of like-minded improvisers. Here, Morten J. Olsen and Lasse Marhaug provide the existential overtones via electronics, while Olsen also employs an arsenal of percussion instruments to align and complement the drummers' asymmetrical pulses.

The orchestra looms as a multidimensional powerhouse, teeming with interesting contrasts and knotty sojourns. With jangling percussion, supple interludes and blistering crescendos, it elicits notions of a subterranean environ. This is partly due to Borre Molstad's understated tuba lines on the second movement of the lone piece, dedicated to Gjerstad's former band-mates in the group Detail, titled "Yellow Bass & Silver Cornet (In Memory of Johnny Mbizo Dyani And John Stevens)." Gjerstad then accelerates the variable cadences with his wily clarinet phrasings atop Anders Hana's blistering rock guitar lines. At times, the musicians perform as though they're possessed by spirits, with the intentions of rising to a state of divine fulfillment.

In alternating regions of sound and scope the artists execute a barrage of soul searching motifs, firmed up with free-form exchanges and weaving horns choruses. But they also mix it up with scrappy interplay, creating a mind-altering experience that is incredibly powerful and intense. Gjerstad and friends prove, beyond a doubt, that free improvisation coupled with synergistic interplay yields substance. It's a 360 degree panorama of rapidly-moving themes, underscored by gobs of imagery and the instrumentalists finely tuned improvisational faculties.


Track Listing: Yellow Bass & Silver Cornet (In Memory of Johnny Mbizo Dyani And John Stevens.

Personnel: Louis Moholo-Moholo: drums; Morten J. Olsen electronics, drums; Anders Hana el.guitar; Frode Gjerstad sax,clarinets; Nick Stephens: acoustic bass; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums; Ingebrigt H. Flaten: acoustic bass; Borre Molstad: tuba; Sabir Mateen: sax, clarinets; Kevin Norton: vibraphone; Bobby Bradford: cornet; Lasse Marhaug: electronics; John Hegre: soundman.

Title: Open Port | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Blackwater
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.