Sunday, June 29, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: Free Improvising Trio, Duo, Solo

Michele Rabbia/Marilyn Crispell/Vincent Courtois: Shifting Grace. 2006. Cam Jazz: CAMJ 7791-2.

Michele Rabbia: percussion
Marilyn Crispell: piano
Vincent Courtois: cello

Free improvisation that "shifts" focal points between players with virtuosic ease. Rabbia's percussion takes on a light touch that matches the lyrical whisps of Crispell's piano playing and the artful phrasing of Courtois' cello. Even the foreground "shifts" with each player slipping into focus in a music built upon collective creation. The fluid encounters captured for this recording reveal a mature sense of pace and compositional form.

Derek Bailey/Cyro Baptista: Derek. 2003. Amulet Records: amt 023.

Derek Bailey: guitar
Cyro Baptista: percussion, voice

Completely "in the moment" improvisation from two figures with radically different orbits. The differences between the English guitarist and Brazilian percussionist is bridged by an open responsiveness that allows for humor and deeply individual sounds to coexist upon the same canvas. With this listening I am aware of the individualistic techniques at work in this music. Baptista's sample-and-loop approach feels at odds with Bailey's persistent (and sometimes harsh) strumming at first. The whims of Baptista's words often work against the abstract harmonies and tones of Bailey's wall of acoustic guitar textures. This tension between parts marks much of this sound and the attraction of this disc lies in how these two performers feel out a mutual space with a sense of give and take to fit these jagged pieces into an unusual sonic image.

Gunda Gottschalk: Wassermonde. 2002. Elephant: 002.

Gunda Gottschalk: violin, viola

This one accurately captures the live solo Gottschalk experience. With a wide ranging improvisatory language and a strong intuitive instinct toward long arching forms this disc feeds the lingering hunger to "hear more" of this impressive performer. The long arc holds for over an hour on this collection and even has the surprise entrance of Gottschalk's voice blending within the overall texture late in the performance - just as was the case with her live performance last year.

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