Without giving away any professional secrets, it is quite often that any beat-pounding pundit or wily curmudgeonpick several thousand if you like, there's billions out therewill come at an artist with certain prejudices and expectations. And so it is with German bassist Lisa Hoppe. Having heard her unusual yet oddly soothing explorations on such discs as Esche's Der Dichter Spricht (QFTF, 2018), the Marc Jufer Trio's Trip To The Center (QFTF, 2018), saxophonist Niculin Janett's Complexes (QFTF, 2017) and Me&Mobl's Agglo (Prologue Records, 2018), a full release under her own name has been awaited.
So here is The Mighty Unlikely, skillfully employing the boisterous and like-minded antics of alto saxophonist David Leon and guitarist Tal Yahalom to jump, without a net, into a music abounding with curiosity for the classical of yesteryear and the urban recklessness of today's millennials. Scratching into existence with Hoppe's seesawing, "Les Orielles" wavers into space as Yahalom's guitar picks a hypnotic, circular pattern, and Leon's horn solos like an orchestra. Hoppe intros "Extraterrestrials Calling Home" with a deep, popping persistence, while Yahalom crunchily anchors the tune for more of Leon's obvious zeal for participatory hijinks.
Utilizing someone's mumbling conversation, "Jakubian" wanders within itself, not because of any preset margins, mind you, but simply because that is how the trio feels about it. "The Weirdness of You" comes off like some odd ghost of Tin Pan Alley. In its brief two-minutes-and-twenty-seven seconds, "Progress Is Rushing In" breaks out with a circus revelry, only to sharply turn to rhythmic handclaps urging Leon's free blowing. Splitting her life between her native Germany and adopted Brooklyn must give Hoppe lots of travel time to compose her free-as-a-bird compositions. And there's an undeniable, enviable freedom to that. This is how Hoppe hears it and feels it, composes it and performs it. The Mighty Unlikely makes us all feel free.
Les Orielles; Extraterrestrials Calling Home; Jakubian; Procrastination Canon; The Weirdness of You; Progress Is
Rushing In; 8 Hungry Birds & A Sick Weasel; Material Reality; You Don't Know (What Love Is).
David Leon: Alto saxophone; Lisa Hoppe: Bass; Tal Yahalom: guitar.
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