131

Chefa Alonso and Albert Kaul: The Reliable Uncertainty

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Chefa Alonso plays soprano saxophone as well as percussion; Albert Kaul plays piano and clavichord. Despite recording extensively in other contexts, their discography as a duo is in its infancy and in a state of flux; a more appropriate title here might be "The curious case of Chefa and Albert." A four-track version of The Reliable Uncertainty was released by Audition Records in December 2010 as "a first bite of the next cd-album of this duo." The four tracks are freely downloadable (as is the duo's other 2010 album, El oro del huracán, available from alg-label). Shortly afterwards, an expanded nine-track version of the album, retitled in both Spanish and German—the first languages of Alonso and Kaul, respectively—was being sold at their gigs.

Alonso and Kaul each has an improvisation-related PhD, hers for research into free improvisation and composition, his for theories for teaching musical improvisation. The Reliable Uncertainty was recorded in June 2010 in Kaul's home town at the Municipal Music School of Marburg, Germany. "Sand in the Pocket"—on both versions of the album—characterizes the duo's interactions. There are contrasts between the two: Alonso displays her knowledge of the history of improvisation through her playing—at times there are echoes of the soprano playing of Steve Lacy, Lol Coxhill and Evan Parker— but she is no copyist; the end product is her own. Kaul initially leans towards the role of accompanist, one at which he is adept, but as he moves into the spotlight he becomes a fiery soloist producing torrents of fractured chords and ideas. The fascination of their duo playing is the effect that each has on the other, resulting in a negotiated music that is somewhere between that which either might produce alone.

In concert, the improvisations of Alonso and Kaul are often accompanied by the rather cryptic moving-images of Barbara Meyer. Although the two complement each other well, the music is not designed to be a soundtrack to the visuals; it stands up well without the visuals, and vice versa.

Track Listing: Scrap; Sand in the Pocket; Whirl; Puddles in the Hands.

Personnel: Chefa Alonso: soprano saxophone, percussion; Albert Kaul: piano.

Title: The Reliable Uncertainty | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Audition


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Into a Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into a Myth
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Forgive and Forget" CD/LP/Track Review Forgive and Forget
by Edward Blanco
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Collider" CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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