Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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 #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: 2012-08-20
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: 2012-08-20
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: 2012-08-20
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: 2012-08-20
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: 2012-08-20
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "Voyage Home" CD/LP/Track Review Voyage Home
by Edward Blanco
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: 2012-08-20
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: 2012-08-20

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!