Trumpet tripleplay: Symphony for Old and New Dimensions; Live aux Instants Chavires, 2009; and Do I The In?

John Sharpe By

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Symphony for Old and New Dimensions
Ayler Records

Joelle Leandre & Jean Luc Cappozzo
Live aux Instants Chavires, 2009
Kadima Collective

Do I The In?
Not Two

There has been an upsurge in creative trumpet in recent years. You could say the trumpet is the new saxophone, in that extended techniques once the preserve of the few are now being absorbed, internalized and extended by growing ranks of adventurous brassmen. Fittingly trumpet is the sole horn on the three live discs at hand.

Titled in apparent acknowledgement of antecedents like Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Other Dimensions in Music, Symphony for Old and New Dimensions, the second release from collective Nuts, hews closest to the last in its flowing improvised form imprinted with an indelible jazz birthmark. Courtesy of clear well-separated recording, the listener is placed alongside Benjamin Duboc's propulsively pliant bass at the calm hub of a Catherine wheel storm of trumpets and drums. Rasul Siddik, out of St Louis' Black Artist's Group, and Japan's Itaru Oki are the two expatriate hornmen, while Didier Lasserre and Oki's countryman Makoto Sato are at the traps.

Firebreathing episodes stand in sharp relief to the organic low-key textures that slowly emerge and mutate from the primordial mire of vibrating air and resonant wood and skin. Two long journeys of 24 and 43 minutes trace a cohesive arc from ghostly percussion and breathy posturing to rustling silence by way of passages of bucolic exoticism and committed, sensual group catharsis. Siddik evinces a smoldering intensity while Oki's fractured reveilles and incisive flutes ignite in a more spacious soundscape than might be expected from dual drummers, testament to some serious listening and outstanding ensemble play.

In the hands of prolific mistress of the bull fiddle Joëlle Léandre and trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo, the combination of horn and primarily bowed bass makes for a simpatico blend. While their 47-minute Paris duet on Live Aux Instants Chavires isn't the first time they had played together, there is still a vibrant freshness to their dialogue across the eight cuts. Leandre's prodigious technique and passionate humanity can be taken for granted, but Cappozzo, who once shared a stage with Dizzy Gillespie, matches her peerless expression. Now part of the Globe Unity Orchestra, the trumpeter has also recorded with fellow trumpeter Herb Robertson and reedman Louis Sclavis to vouchsafe his avant credentials.

Cappozzo's disintegrating pinched tones are drenched by great waves of arco bass crashing on the bandstand in the attention grabbing "Instant chav 1." Elsewhere the simultaneous soloing manifests in buzzing trumpet shards intercepting arco harmonics, post-bop patterns pitching against volcanic bass eruptions and muted growls policing operatic declamations' decline into muttering and whispers, as the two live easily on their wits.

A further multinational gathering unites American bassist Joe Fonda, Polish drummer Jacek Kochan, Norwegian electric guitarist Tellef Ogrim and Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger under the Musiconspiracy banner for Do I The In?. They signal democratic intent through the composition credits—two tracks penned by each member plus three group improvs—over the course of the 68-minute set recorded live at Krakow's Alchemia club.

Like the late Don Ellis, Hautzinger plays a custom-built quarter-tone trumpet with electronic effects, though often forgoing microtonal complexity for whooshing breath sounds, not dissimilar to Ogrim's opaque guitar washes. Fonda's irrepressible energy meshes well with Kochan's buoyant, even rocky drums, whether in supple grooves or mysterious atmospherics. Theirs is primarily a group conception taking a sideways approach to mood through understated interplay, accentuated by short tracks that encourage incision. Fonda stands out with a typically limber inventive solo on his own "Song for my Mother" while Kochan's closing "Choose the Mud " is notable for Ogrim's chiming intro and cadenza bookending a swinging echoplexed trumpet trio on a disc that satisfyingly avoids the obvious.

Tracks and Personnel

Symphony for Old and New Dimensions

Tracks: Movement One: Paths; Movement Two: Fields.

Personnel: Benjamin Duboc: bass; Rasul Siddik: trumpet, flugelhorn, seeds, objects; Itaru Oki: trumpet, flugelhorn, flutes, tubes; Didier Lasserre: drums; Makoto Sato: drums.

Live aux Instants Chavires, 2009

Tracks: Instant chav 1; Instant chav 2; Instant chav 3; Instant chav 4; Instant chav 5; Instant chav 6; Instant chav 7; Instant chav 8.

Personnel: Joelle Leandre: bass; Jean Luc Cappozzo: trumpet.

Do I The In?

Tracks: Song for my Mother; Golden Angel; Feed the Hamster; Famous Disappearing Act; Ectoplasmatics; Summer is Far; Before or After?; For Mingus; Restless Apple; Organic Boot; Choose the Mud.

Personnel: Jacek Kochan: drums, laptop; Franz Hautzinger: quartertone trumpet; Joe Fonda: bass; Tellef Ogrim: fretless guitar.

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