American flautist and educator Helen Bledsoe resides in Cologne, Germany, and is a prominent improviser on the global circuit. She aligns with Russians, pianist Alexey Lapin and clarinetist Vlady Bystrov, for a soundscape that defies stringent categorizations but touches on avant-Chamber, free-jazz, and is embedded in dense montages, as they explore numerous possibilities and outcomes. Recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia, the trio's abstract manifestations are shadowed with melodic mini-themes and flirtatious exchanges via the omnipresent improvisational component.
The musicians feed off each other's strengths and imaginative powers while tendering a sense of enchantment, even during some of the garrulous movements. Bledsoe's vast technical faculties are radiantly conveyed. On certain passages she employs a breathy sound, and executes blazing or swirling lines with her band mates. Nonetheless, the trio's noteworthy teamwork comes to fruition early on.
Variable rhythmic encounters remain a constant, coupled with ambient mosaics and discordant call and responses, yet the program rides an undulating plane as the musicians expand the platforms and contract their interplay within various interludes. Featuring an array of emotive characteristics on pieces such as "The Inner Spaces," they seed a playful yet soaring series of events as Lapin's swarming chord clusters underscore the intersecting dialogues, topped off by Bledsoe's scorching runs. However, the tide turns on "Allegro con Brio," where Lapin's drizzling notes intimate notions of isolation, offset by Bystrov's mimicking contrasts, as he often bridges the thematic flows between piano and flute. On other works they create dimly lit soundscapes and change the scenery amid unanticipated shifts in strategy. Ultimately, it's music without boundaries, as they navigate through an agenda comprised of interminable opportunities, enacted with a razor-sharp focus.
Track Listing: Credo; The Thoughts; The Inner Spaces; Triologue; Monologues; North
Crystal; Die Versuchung; Allegro con Brio; Me.Lusine; Countless
Personnel: Alexey Lapin: piano; Helen Bledsoe: flutes; Vlady Bystrov: Bb and alto
clarinet, alto saxophone.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.