Monday, August 29, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: Vrrt

Indigo Trio: Live in Montreal. 2005. Greenleaf Music: GRE-P-03.
Nicole Mitchell: flute, wood flute, vocals
Harrison Bankhead: acoustic bass, vocals
Hamid Drake: drums, hand drums

Since this disc last came up in the rotation I have relocated to the hometown of Nicole Mitchell, Harrison Bankhead and Hamid Drake and had a chance to experience their respective activities within the lifeblood of the Chicago music scene. My appreciation for what resides on this session is significantly deeper than the last time this music had a spin. These musicians plunge deep into the soul of these compositions and explore spontaneous angles from within the music. Few players so thoroughly transcend the spectrum between free improvisation and composed music to the degree where it doesn't matter. It is all music. Musically, this session is amazing. But I wouldn't expect anything less from this power trio.

Katt Hernandez/Evan Lipson: Hisswig. 2007. Mini-CD-R.

Katt Hernandez: violin
Evan Lipson: bass

A moment (or twenty of them) from the Philadelphia improvisation scene once upon a time. The ever restless Katt Hernandez has made her way to Stockholm and the vibrant improvisation opportunities on the other side of the pond. Leaving behind scattered documents such as this dialog between string players. Evan Lipson brings a great energy to this sound as he deftly crosses registers and common timbres with Hernandez. Free improvisation works well with ears such as these. It leaves the ears reaching for more.

Mazen Kerbaj: Brt Vrt Zrt Krt. 2005. Al Maslakh Recordings: 01.

Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet

To say that Mazen Kerbaj is a unique force on the trumpet would be an understatement. It's hard to imagine a soloist who could make one more acutely aware of the vibrations of a column of brass. The inner workings of the instrument as a construction site. The presence and absence of air flowing through the column. The lungs that propel the air. The connective tissues and cellular workings of the performer as Kerbaj brings "extended technique" to a whole new level. Engineering such a recording has to pose intense challenges as sound emanates from points all along the horn. The sound of valves, of tubing and friction. This is a unique language in sound. An acoustic musique concrete rendered with an alluring intimacy of its live creation. These ears were captivated for the full duration of this set.

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