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Steve Beresford / Martin Kuchen/ Stale Liavik Solberg: Three Babies

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Free improvisation is a relatively new form of musical art but it has already introduced a variety of approaches for spontaneous, creative and collaborative musical articulation. The trio comprises of one of the forefathers of the British school of improvised music, pianist Steve Beresford and fellow Scandinavian conspirators, Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen and Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg demonstrate how such distinct and idiosyncratic approaches make this delicate art form so stimulating.

There is nothing obvious in the three improvised pieces of Beresford, Küchen and Solberg, recorded in June 2012 in Cafe OTO in London after a short European tour, and released as a limited edition release of only 100 copies. The focus of this trio is on sounds that are put together as music, refusing to obey to any boundaries, respect conventions or follow known structures, just be there, in the moment and play, and then as Eric Dolphy said, "after it's over, it's gone, in the air."

The interplay is totally democratic with a strong and playful tendency for anarchic chaos. It is focused and dense, intense even in its quiet interludes, and deliberately avoids any mutual agreement on a shared direction. The three keep challenging, disrupting, and pushing the musical envelope to opposing, colliding directions. This dynamic, coupled with inventive sonic discoveries and a childish, often twisted sense of humor, turn any musical situation into an arresting and untimely moment.

The first improvisation "Steel Babies" is more energetic and playful in its spirit. The second, "Car Babies" is more reserved, shifts patiently through space, series of adventurous, otherworldly sonic terrains. Küchen investigates the upper range of the sopranino sax with extended breathing techniques, Beresford adds to the palette electronic and toy devices, including, brief radio transmissions and Solberg's fractured percussive playing intensifies the tension. The third, "Kitchen Babies" continues with dadaist, minimalist noisy collision till Beresford returns to the piano and wraps this profound journey with a gentle coda.

Demanding set, but very impressive and rewarding.

Track Listing: Steel Babies; Car Babies; Kitchen Babies.

Personnel: Steve Beresford: piano, objects; Martin Küchen: sopranino saxophone; Ståle Liavik Solberg: drums, percussion.

Title: Three Babies | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Peira


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