181

Gunter Christmann / Mats Gustafsson / Paul Lovens: Trio

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Gunter Christmann / Mats Gustafsson / Paul Lovens: Trio The language of free improvisation is decades old now and its power to shock has arguably diminished accordingly. If there's something in the contention that everything once radical is eventually co-opted by an ever broadening mainstream, free improvisation still gives the lie to it. Still the creative process behind it can appear inscrutable, and the very lack of predetermination often gives the resulting music a singular tension and release.

Both that creative process and the tension and release are here in abundance. All three musicians are well versed in the language but what often gives the music an edge is their willingness to put it to use in the interest of confounding expectations. Thus, on the third "something more" —and never was the business of titling more arbitrary- the music is formed from dead sounds as much as tuned. Lovens, arguably one of the most perceptive percussionists when it comes to augmenting the standard sonic palette, is alert to the implications of the tiniest sounds, while Gustafsson's overblowing of the baritone sax seems arbitrary, in thrall only to the needs of the moment. Christmann on cello perhaps inevitably occupies ground somewhere between the two, yet not for a moment is there any doubt about this being a collective performance.

On the fourth reading, things coalesce in relatively straightforward fashion, although Lovens' appreciation of sound is deep enough to ensure that he gnaws intermittently at the music's edges. On trombone Christmann is expansive even while he hardly deals at all in the instrument's acknowledged range; when he does so he too is given to acute appreciation of the smallest sound's implications, while Gustafsson for all of his almost comedic striving for effect gives up the fight for more aggressive, less pointillist music.

By the time of the seventh reading the level of collective understanding is extraordinary, the result of a creative process as potent and overt as anything out there. It's also a profound rebuttal of anything rhetorical as the music still proceeds by a process of drawing in by dint of the lack of volume.

In light of this, the closing "Enough is Not Enough" is not so much a statement of fact as it is an unassuming manifesto for the fecundity of collective music making. The perennial paradox of music made through the negation of personality yet informed by musical personalities is rarely so potently embodied.


Track Listing: Something More; Something More; Something More; Something More; Something More; Something More; Something More; Enough Is Not Enough.

Personnel: Mats Gustafsson: soprano sax, baritone sax, fluteophone; Gunter Christmann: cello, trombone; Paul Lovens: percussion.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: FMP Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Samba Gostoso" CD/LP/Track Review Samba Gostoso
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!