1

Phil Grenadier / Bruno Raberg Duo: Plunge

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Phil Grenadier / Bruno Raberg Duo: Plunge The inspiration for this album was saxophonist Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." It gave Swedish bassist, Bruno Raberg, what he calls an "aural vision": "I 'heard' a rich, erratic, and busy soundscape in which the beautiful melody would live. I saw images of desolate streets and a lonely person's inner turmoil, conflicting emotions and despair."

Coleman's hauntingly melancholic composition was first heard on his The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959), when free jazz was in its infancy (and album titles overblown). The spontaneous, often bluesy beauty imparted to the original by Coleman's saxophone and Don Cherry's pocket trumpet is largely lost in its interpretation here by Råberg and American trumpeter Phil Grenadier (brother of bassist Larry Grenadier). The song becomes a stiff, academic musical exercise, shorn of feeling.

Coleman was one of the fathers of free jazz. The music on Plunge is in the same spirit, but far too self-conscious to be free. True, it is all based on duo improvisations by Råberg and Grenadier—what the bassist calls "real time compositions." However, these have later been adorned—not always the right word—with special effects, or what Råberg, a professor at Boston's Berklee College of Music, prefers to call "sound manipulations."

The duo obviously enjoyed the session and, away from the sci-fi blips and squawks of the manipulations, there are moments of intimacy when the music lives up to the following euphoric definition by Grenadier: "It is our voices joined in an honest search for beauty, complexity and depth." Unfortunately, such moments do not last long.

With some exceptions, the numbers are snippets, rather than full-blown songs. "Reveille," the opener, is an amusingly discordant wakeup call; "Last Train To Seville," which follows, a lugubrious Spanish- tinged evocation of a train ride (maybe); while "Heartwood" is a hesitant and quirky meditation on... something or other. Some of the "Intersections" too are interesting, notably "Moving Cycles," with its reflective theme.

Apart from "Lonely Woman," the only other written piece is Råberg's own "The Outermost Island," based on an interesting chord progression.

There is a genuine spirit of inquiry at work here but the net result is a bit of a letdown.


Track Listing: Reveille; Last Train to Seville; Five Short Pieces: Seiryuu - Azure Dragon, Byakko - White Tiger, Suzaku - Vermillion Bird, Genbu - Black Tortoise, Ouryu - Yellow Dragon; Lonely Woman; Heartwood; Ushas/Quadratic; Intersections I - IV: Part 1 - Moving Cycles, Part 2 - Line and Sphere, Part 3 - Sand Clock, Part 4 - Isomorphic; Area 51; The Outermost Island; Triangulum; Lizrael; Intersections V: Part 5 - Being and Time.

Personnel: Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Bruno Råberg: acoustic bass, sound design.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Orbis Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Clifford Brown Clifford Brown
trumpet
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
trumpet
Tom Harrell Tom Harrell
trumpet
Kenny Dorham Kenny Dorham
trumpet
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Seamus Blake Seamus Blake
sax, tenor
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Brad Shepik Brad Shepik
guitar

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Uptown Down" CD/LP/Track Review Uptown Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!