Szilard Mezei Septet – Véres Páncél

(FMR) No more doubts by now: when Szilárd Mezei writes for small ensemble he means business, although his output persistently conveys lucid versatility, analytic consciousness and sheer poignancy via alternative orchestral organizations. The Septet was formed circa 15 years ago; this embodiment — captured live in Serbia, April 2018 — highlights the talents of Bogdan Ranković (alto sax, bass clarinet), Branislav Aksin (trombone), Máté Pozsár (piano), Ivan Burka (vibraphone), Ervin Malina (double bass) and István Csík (drums). Plus, of course, the leader’s articulate viola imbued with microtonal pathos. The set includes eleven tracks, some of them renditions of pieces from … Continue reading Szilard Mezei Septet – Véres Páncél

Samuel Blaser Trio – Taktlos Zurich 2017

(hatOLOGY) Born in 2013, the trio of trombonist Samuel Blaser, guitarist Marc Ducret and drummer Peter Bruun is finally on record after five years of committed live activities. That this concert actually happened was in itself a noteworthy event, Blaser having undergone a bicycle accident three days prior that left him with a broken rib. There’s no stopping the flow of a focused improviser, though; thus, the four tracks of Taktlos Zürich 2017 confirm the old Albert Ayler axiom according to which music is a universal healing force. Slowly but steadily, the trombone has gained a reputation in the improvising … Continue reading Samuel Blaser Trio – Taktlos Zurich 2017

North Of North (Pateras / Tinkler / Veltheim) – North Of North

(Offcompass) Three exacting improvisations by Anthony Pateras (piano), Erkki Veltheim (violin) and Scott Tinkler (trumpet). This reviewer’s conversancy with Pateras’ creative expression is sufficiently established; after having treasured Veltheim’s input in their mesmerizing duo The Slow Creep Of Convenience (Immediata, 2017), the missing link of knowledge here was Tinkler’s modus operandi. I’m now glad to have met an accomplished trumpeter, his CV including important collaborations both in jazz and classical ambits. This is the first release by Offcompass, a label founded by this very trio; all the track titles refer to the recording location, Melbourne’s Church of All Nations. In … Continue reading North Of North (Pateras / Tinkler / Veltheim) – North Of North

Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites – Safety Signal From A Target Town

(Discus) I dream of a life without the obligation of labeling a record. A place where the parallelism of compositional attributes simply warrants pure delectation and implicit comprehension. If this world truly existed, Martin Archer’s tireless work would symbolize the necessity of forgetting about roots and derivations to better relish the fruits of sensible orchestral choices, in turn initiating terrific contrapuntal instances. Saying this might sound peculiar as the leader himself cites essential influences on his creations, especially AACM and British jazz with progressive tendencies; music that — in Archer’s very words — combines “considered spaciousness and white heat improvisation”. … Continue reading Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites – Safety Signal From A Target Town

Jin Sangtae & Tim Olive – Naar/Voor

(845 Audio) In a conceptual setting recalling the legendary “cracked everyday objects” microcosm of Andy Guhl and Norbert Möslang’s Voice Crack (what a fantastic duo, by the way), Jin Sangtae and Tim Olive make the most of recycled pieces of quotidian technology. They highlight the substance of what usually remains unheard, and which may contain the germs of intuition of an invisible totality that is more relevant than expected. Sangtae connects cables to salvaged hard drives, bringing to (disorderly) life the barely perceptible interferences typical of computer-induced brainlessness. Olive — an erstwhile virtuoso of electrically enhanced one or two-stringed self-mades … Continue reading Jin Sangtae & Tim Olive – Naar/Voor

Veryan Weston – The Make Project

(Barnyard Records) Among several notable intuitions, pianist and composer Veryan Weston has been working for decades on the concept of tessellation. To quote from his website, “visual interlocking symmetries and geometric shapes are transferred to the audible world of pitches, rhythm and counterpoint, with the spirit and energy of jazz, improvisation and folk music always at the heart of the performance“. Nothing rings truer after having lent our ears to this brilliant album, in which Weston presents the newest version of an existing work with the help of vocal conductor Christine Duncan and drummer Jean Martin. Other musicians involved are … Continue reading Veryan Weston – The Make Project

Steve Swell – Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen

(Silkheart) On a first glance at the title we’re automatically reminded of a milestone of minimalism by another famous Steve; but there is nothing in this work by Steve Swell that can be reported on as “minimalist”. Rightly applauded as a virtuoso trombonist, the man is also a discerning composer, this CD fully supporting our assumption. Picking Olivier Messiaen as the subject of a tribute is in itself a brave move; assembling a quintet of top-notch instrumentalists to concretize the sterling configurations and the spontaneous germinations implied by a partially notated score might even represent a danger, all the more … Continue reading Steve Swell – Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen