229

Gratkowski / Brown / Winant: Wake

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Gratkowski / Brown / Winant: Wake This is a remarkably simpatico trio. The evidence is all over this program in terms of deft musical touches and the deep listening of all three members. Even in the most animated passages the music never descends into mere chaos, and there is an underlying logic which just might lie closer to the heart of musical expression than any creation of chaos for its own sake.

The sonic palette of the instrumentation is exploited to the full. On the opening "Slide" everything is lively, yet measured at one and the same time, with Frank Gratkowski's clarinet and bass clarinet hinting at Viennese Formalism in places, even while he revels in the moment. William Winant's percussive touch is alert to the demands of the moment while Chris Brown's piano merely hints at bombast when it's not mocking the very idea.

The arguably perennial issue of silence is to the fore on the following "Ambitus," where in the opening passage Brown and Gratkowski tease with it by mutual consent as small sounds come up out of nothing like a blunt instrument pushing against fabric. Brown's electronics serve to take the ambiance outside of the known world while his piano, seemingly grounded in it by way of compensation, provides random interjections. Where the music is more lively it's with a collective eye on something greater but tantalizingly distant; Gratkowski's clarinet in certain passages takes on the role of a focal point for all of its entirely singular logic.

If "Scrabble" has any wordy implications than they reference a highly individual vocabulary. The smallest sounds inevitably come out of nothing, although in this case the listener might almost be both intruder and outsider so personal is the music in its evolution. That said, there's nothing forbidding about the proceedings. At all times this is music that holds the attention, even while it makes demands of the listener.

Those demands are always welcome, and on the closing "Archipelago" it sounds as though the trio is fully appreciative of that. Again the music is in thrall to the moment, even while it's outside the measure of time. As such, the very sounds they produce celebrate that passing moment despite they're being a passionate denial of it. If it is the case that music as a means for organizing time is a plausible one, than these three individuals are appreciative of the idea that music is far greater than the sum of its parts.


Track Listing: Slide; Ambitus; Scrabble; Parallax; Archipelago.

Personnel: Frank Gratkowski: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax; Chris Brown: piano, live electronics; William Winant: vibes, percussion.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Red Toucan Records


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Something Real" CD/LP/Track Review Something Real
by Doug Collette
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Circles and Landscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Circles and Landscapes
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Hawniyaz" CD/LP/Track Review Hawniyaz
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016

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!