217

Clusone 3 (hat Hut: Rara Avis

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
"We all know how 20th century composers from Messiaen to Ellington to Dolphy cribbed melodies" from birds, says Kevin Whitehead in the liner notes to this collection of fourteen bird songs by the celebrated Clusone 3: Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinet, melodica), Ernst Reijseger (cello), and Han Bennink (drums). None of those three are represented on this broadly-ranging program, but it does include tunes by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Hoagy Carmichael alongside Peruvian folk music, Saint-Saens "Le Cygne," and duck calls by Steve Lacy and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Plus "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along," "Tico-Tico No Fuba," and more.

As fascinating as the choice of melodies is the trio's approach to performing them. Every track, even the hoariest old chestnut, is given a fresh coat of paint, as all three musicians consciously incorporate birdlike melodies - and rhythms - into their interpretations. This is done conspicuously on tracks like Moore's original "Avocet," which is built upon twitters and flutters from both Moore and Reijseger. Lacy's "Duck" is also an exercise in melodic onomatopoeia. But it also crops up here and there on other tracks throughout the disc, as conventional swing rhythms rub elbows with rubato chirrups and peeps, breaking into, commenting upon, and augmenting the overall thrust of the tunes.

Bennink, who came up with the idea of this disc, shows his characteristic puckishness on tracks like "Tico Tico," "Yellow Bird," "El Condor Pasa," and "When the Red Red Robin." All of these and the rest of the numbers, however, are played with respect, albeit with an imaginativeness of interpretation that is continually attention-grabbing. Moore's condor passes with a wild flutter, and his Baltimore oriole is, if this is possible, even more anguished than the original. But he brings out the easy loveliness of "Nightingales Sang in Berkeley Square," "My Bird of Paradise" and "Le Cygne," and of the melodic statements of "The Buzzard Song." Bennink is, as always, a masterful colorist, and Reijseger has tremendous ingenuity (he even sounds like a guitar or banjo on the loose-limbed "Red Red Robin").

In lesser hands a selection of songs like this one might be merely gimmicky or sneeringly ironic. But these are three masterful musicians, and this is marvelously compelling music. Recommended.

Hatology discs can be obtained from North Country distributors, Cadence Bldg., Redwood, NY 13679. Phone/fax: (315) 287-2852 and (315) 287-2860. Email: orders@cadencebuilding.com. Website: http://www.cadencebuilding.com.

Track listing: The Buzzard Song / Avocet / Yellow Bird / El Condor Pasa / Secretary Bird / When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin' Along / Nightingales Sang in Berkeley Square / Baltimore Oriole / Skylark / Duck / O Pato / Le Cygne / Tico-Tico No Fuba / My Bird of Paradise

Personnel:

Michael Moore, as, cl, melodica; Ernst Reijseger, clo; Han Bennink, d.

| Record Label: Hat Hut Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Havana Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Havana Blue
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 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!