Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: Startling Turns and Lyricism

Marc Ducret: Un Certain Malaise. 1997. Screwgun Records: Screwu 70005.

Marc Ducret: electric guitar

Solo electric guitar with plenty of turns toward avant asides and aggressive energies. Marc Ducret brings a unique ear to his instrument that soars in the unbridled and unaccompanied setting. The final tracks settle toward more lyrical material without losing any of the jagged edges that poke throughout this performance. Beautiful and fully engaging throughout.

Misha Mengelberg: The Root Of The Problem. 1997. Hat Hut Records: hatOLOGY 504.

Misha Mengelberg: piano
in duos, trios and quartet formed with -
Steve Potts: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Thomas Heberer: trumpet
Michel Godard: tuba, serpent
Achim Keremer: percussion

The overlapping improvisational sensibilities of Misha Mengelberg and Thomas Heberer makes for some startling play between the piano and tuba. "Play" is the operative word to describe this music. Loose yet strangely focused and a wonderful freedom to stumble in and out of established jazz conventions toward free improvisation and back. At its core, a string of moments that connect and stand independently from one another. A rare balance of form and idea.

Louis Moholo-Moholo/Marilyn Crispell: Sibanye (We Are One). 2008. Intakt: CD 145.

Louis Moholo-Moholo: drums
Marilyn Crispell: piano

I have a particular interest in this recording as one who was present at this first-time collaboration at Baltimore's An Die Musik. Listening for specific moments I remembered from that evening with an ear toward deeper understanding of how this duo achieved such a joyous sound. This was also the performance that piqued my interest in Luis Moholo-Moholo's artistic journey and his work with the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood of Breath. A body of music I now regard as indispensable for understanding the evolution of free improvisation in Europe via exile from South Africa. In this encounter, the evolved languages of Moholo-Moholo and Crispell mesh together as each generously extends space toward the other. The rich, tonal lyricism of much of Crispell's playing in this session was startling - and still is on recording.

No comments: