108

Norbert Stein Pata, Horns & Drums: Silent Sitting Bulls

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Silent Sitting Bulls is the second release by this quartet, and it's clear that the time they've spent together has not been wasted. The outcome is an exceptional level of musical coherence, and it's not stretching a point to put their music alongside that of some of Arthur Blythe's ensembles as a model which, while it shows deep knowledge of the history of improvised music, also appreciates that a lot of its life's blood is generated by unassuming innovation.

So, while there are precedents for improvised music ensembles who take their cues from chamber music, these guys make those precedents sound fresh and invigorated. There's a playful quality to a lot of the music, too. On "Quantum Mechanics," a recurrent ascending figure constitutes one of the elements the group draws upon, before saxophonist Norbert Stein indulges in a vaguely volcanic tenor exposition. The following collective interplay is some distance from, say, Albert Ayler's music in its consideration, but there's still nothing methodical about it: these guys are intent on communication through enticement, as opposed to any candid rhetoric.

This is a point which sheds light on "Miao & Chiao," where the fractious horn unisons have that playful air again, before a theme, not without upbeat traces, lends the music a Township air. Michael Heupel's flute is the most compelling voice amidst the unassuming melee mainly, because his role is largely unpremeditated. Christoph Haberer's drum solo is deft and colorful enough to make even that usually tiresome device listenable, and before the piece is out it becomes clear that this is a group akin to a sponge in terms of the influences it takes in even while it retains its own identity.

One of those might be the work of the Willem Breuker Kollektiv, a sadly missed leader and band for whom the past was something to plunder, as opposed to a place upon which to lay the cold, bloodless hand of reverence. Thus, "Paradise Lost" fizzes with the precedents of European brass bands and antique martial airs, but then confounds expectations with the ease in which it switches to that collective improvisation; one of this band's many strengths. Stein, the composer, is clearly very aware of all of them, hence the reason why this music hangs with such lively coherence.

Track Listing: Silent Sitting Bulls; Nondual Action; Paradise Lost; This Is You; Quantum Mechanics; Schleuderhonig (Strained Honey); Miao & Ciao; Hapana Lakini.

Personnel: Norbert Stein: tenor sax; Michael Heupel: flutes; Nicolao Valiensi: euphonium; Christoph Haberer: drums, wavedrum.

Title: Silent Sitting Bulls | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: PATA Music


Tags

Related Video

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 "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Concert Of The Century" CD/LP/Track Review Concert Of The Century
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)" CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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