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James Falzone / Klang: Tea Music

Mark Corroto By

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The much-admired 1950s work of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre is the inspiration for James Falzone's quartet, known as Klang. But like most things emanating from the insular world of Chicago jazz, the signature is never forged.

Falzone, a clarinetist, has explored many musical forms, from classical and chamber music to French folk and jazz. He has played with Jorrit Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective and collaborated with Steve Lacy, Joe Maneri, and Fred Lonberg-Holm. Klang formed in 2006 when Falzone and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, a member of twenty working bands including the Nicole Mitchell Quartet, improvised one night along with bassist Mike Mechem (Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things, Tigersmilk, The Flatlands Collective), and drummer John Purvis (Vandermark 5, Rempis Percussion Quartet, Dragons 1976). The group released a limited-edition disc on Luminescence Records, but this disc is their first studio date.

The music, written by different players, is sly and smart, centered on composition and cleverly precise. Their collective approach to improvisation is passionate and sharp; Falzone's orderly clarinet and Adasiewicz's crisp vibraphone travel to another plane. It's the sort of chamber jazz that 1960s musicians such as Bill Dixon, Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson might appreciate. The quartet can open up a composition such as "Oolong With Multiplicity," with its freedom from time signatures; it also exposes the urgency of a track like "Fickle" by expanding and contracting time to create a quite precipitous pulse.

Roebke and Daisy, two musicians whose development is easily tracked through a succession of recent recordings, have blossomed into than simple time keepers. This recording showcases their contributions as equal players to the front line of clarinet and vibes. It's an extraordinary recording from an outstanding quartet.


Track Listing: G.F.O.P.; Fickle; Lament On Ash Wednesday; Oolong With Multiplicity; No Milk; Giants; #32 Busonius; Klang; Dwarfs; Last Love Song; China Black; Klang...reprise.

Personnel: James Falzone: clarinet; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; Jason Roebke: bass; Tim Daisy: drums and percussion.

Title: Tea Music | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: AllosDocuments

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