Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

435

Boris Savoldelli / Elliott Sharp: Protoplasmic

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
In the realm of free improvisation and even more structured pursuits, the limits of the human voice are being tested and expanded more than ever before by artists including Norwegians Sidsel Endresen and her groundbreaking One (Sofa, 2007), and Maja Ratkje with her equally innovative River Mouth Echoes (Tzadik, 2008). Italian singer Boris Savoldelli may have been mentored by Mark Murphy, but his approach on Protoplasmic—a challenging series of free improvisations recorded without overdubs with free-spirited guitarist Elliott Sharp—owes more, perhaps, to the almost unparalleled Phil Minton, caught recently in Bergen, Norway with the freewheeling Speeq.



Savoldelli demonstrates the same kind of unfettered abandon and ability to evoke unexpected vocal sounds acoustically, but it's his penchant for processing his voice—sampling it, applying all kinds of effects and more—that makes Protoplasmic a unique outing deserving of an equal place beside other intrepid albums of vocal experimentation. Absolutely not for the faint-at-heart, however, Protoplasmic is a largely jagged and angular affair, as Savoldelli and Sharp—who took a single acoustic guitar to great extremes at a 2008 Victoriaville, Quebec performance but here brings far more electricity to bear, in addition to his own arsenal of electronics and prepared effects—create a program of intense density, harsh extremes and occasional unexpected respites of surprising beauty.



Not entirely without rhythm, the opening "A-Quantic" revolves around a soft electronic pulse over which Savoldelli creates an ethereal vocal cushion, even as Sharp's prickly colors lead to otherworldly textures and guttural vocal utterances. The briefest respite leads into "Noises in My Head," with Sharp's acoustic guitar a building block for a briefly repeated pattern that supports Savoldelli's broad range and unexpected collage-like vocalizing. While it might, on first brush, appear challenging to discern who is doing what, closer listens reveal many of the duo's individual approaches to sound sculpting.



Delay, distortion, pitch shifting and other effects don't dilute the individual contributions—in Savoldelli's case a near reckless disposition that doesn't just push the envelope, but bursts through it entirely. Sharp, a longtime part of the avant/new music scene, is a proven exponent of pulling unpredictable sounds from the ether, and so it's Salvodelli who's the real revelation here. Still, that doesn't diminish Sharp's equal contribution to an album that, in challenging all preconceptions of what acoustic, electric and, most importantly, electronic manipulations can be, may not be an album for those looking for convention. Instead, the often frightening soundscapes of Protoplasmic break all convention, demonstrating how, with one voice, a guitar (a saxophone on one track) and a bevy of processing, two creative musicians can create one helluva joyous noise.


Track Listing: A-Quantic; Noises in My Head; Prelude to Biocosmo Pt. One; Black Floyd; Reflective Mind; Nostalghia; A Meeting in a Park; Khaotic Life; Prelude to Biocosmo Pt. Two; Dig It.

Personnel: Boris Savoldelli: vocals, electronics; Elliott Sharp: guitars, saxophone (10), electronics.

Title: Protoplasmic | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Breathe

Breathe

Boris Savoldelli
The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky

Take Five With...
General Articles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky

The Great Jazz Gig In...

MoonJune Records
2016

buy
Biocosmopolitan

Biocosmopolitan

MoonJune Records
2011

buy
Insanology

Insanology

MoonJune Records
2011

buy
The Miss Kiss

The Miss Kiss

MoonJune Records
2010

buy
Protoplasmic

Protoplasmic

MoonJune Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019
Read The Fire Each Time Album Reviews
The Fire Each Time
By Mark Corroto
March 24, 2019
Read NauMay Album Reviews
NauMay
By Jerome Wilson
March 24, 2019
Read Molly Tigre Album Reviews
Molly Tigre
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 24, 2019
Read School of Fish Album Reviews
School of Fish
By Dan McClenaghan
March 23, 2019
Read Blood Album Reviews
Blood
By John Sharpe
March 23, 2019