All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Andre / Tokar / Kugel: Varpai

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
This unique, pan-European trio of like-minded improvising masters—Lithuanian vocal artist/dancer Andrė Pabarčiūtė, Ukrainian bassist Mark Tokar and German percussionist Klaus Kugel—explore the multiple sound variations of their instruments, releasing them from typical conventions while inventing free form structures and pulses. With great sensitivity, imagination, patience and obviously flawless technique this trio succeeds in forming timeless, rich soundscapes that sound fresh, organic and inspiring.

On "Symphonic Fields," Pabarčiūtė's broad vocal range touches Tokar's lower register arco and then soars gently to the stratosphere, while Kugel resonates with spare bells and cymbals. But the mood of this piece shifts organically between meditative tranquility and dense and powerful interplay. Tokar's fat, low arco grounds "Wood Dance" as a shamanic dance, contrasting the fast syllables of Pabarčiūtė and the distant, echoing rhythm that Kugel lays down. The interplay becomes tight and playful in "Play Or Way?" led by Tokar's assured pizzicato.

"Echoes Of The Trees" feature the angelic side of Pabarčiūtė's rich voice, enveloped by Tokar's deep tones and Kugel's sound objects, in a slow, archaic suite. Tokar and Kugel create a dense, open-ended soundscape on "Church In Blue" in which Pabarčiūtė's nasal grunts serve to bind the piece together. Tokar's atmospheric drones introduce the otherworldly "Sacred Forest Trio," which patiently blossoms as a beautiful, telepathic interplay between arco bass, operatic grunts and resonating bells. "The Lizard Of Aukstumala" continues the previous moody soundscape, but is even more adventurous in its inventive, urgent sounds. "Archaic Glimpses" features the humorous side of a trio that is built with such free, playful improvisations. The concluding title piece, with its chiming bells and Pabarčiūtė's gentle, angelic voice, feels like a farewell prayer after this fantastic trip in sound.

Andrė / Tokar / Kugel is a remarkable trio that has only begun to explore its potential.

Track Listing: Symphonic Fields; Wooden Dance; Play Or Way?; Echoes Of The Trees; Church In Blue; Lost Inside; Sacred Forest Trio; The Lizards Of Aukstumala; Archaic Glimpses; Varpai.

Personnel: Andrė Pabarčiūtė: voice; Mark Tokar: double bass; Klaus Kugel: percussion, sound objects.

Title: Varpai | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: NEMU Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Backstage Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Backstage Pass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!" CD/LP/Track Review A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Kill The Boy" CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017