An ardent student of no less a legend than Andrew Cyrille, drummer/composer Gunter Gruner's fondness for jumpy, adroit, noir landscapes comes with a decisively Pink Panther stroll: lanky, animated, wise-ass but humble. His side-street detours to survey The Invisible Landscape involve more than the usual walk down free-form lanes.
With downtown, free-jazz giant Daniel Carter on sax reaching back to go further forward, Gruner's arrhythmic compositions involve the usual micro tonalities, fractured harmonics and head space, but never the oft resulting cacophony. Performed at the Vision Series in Harlem in May, 2007, Gruner and Carter mingle and manifest with saxophonist/flautist Salim Washington, vibraphonist Yusuke Yamamoto, (who also supplies the electronica shade and forbearance), double bassist Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic, and trumpeterKirk Knuffke, whose street cred speaks widely for itself. (Collectively they've played Federico Ughi, Allen Ginsberg, Archie Shepp and Ornette Coleman among others.)
The six fall into place as one single unit of defined character on a trajectory not unlike water following its own intent yet casual course. Be it the sure footed Harlem shuffle of the title enjambment, the street-wise pastoral "Colors of Light," the slow scrawl of "Spinning the Clouds," the vigorous jumble of "A Time," (Carter goes for it all on the tail end of this one) the spidery honking of "Nova Express," or "Permanent Vacation" and it's blurry exotics, Gruner and company never leave you stranded. Fortunately for all involved, The Invisible Landscape lies in clear sight.
Permanent Vacation; Another World Is Possible; Spinning the Clouds; Nova Express; A Time;
Monolith; Fused Take Over; The Invisible Landscape; Colors of Light.
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