Nonetheless today we are greeted by such things, starting with a stunning cover and following through with contents to match. It is the quartet known as Left Exit and their fascinating album Dr K (Clean Feed 346). Karl Hjalmar Nyberg is on saxophones, Andreas Skar Winther on drums and strings, Klaus Ellerhusen Holm on sax and clarinet and Michael Francis Duch on double bass.
These are rather new names to me but the proof is in the hearing and that I must say has piqued my ears nicely. It is all about a collective new-music oriented freedom with an emphasis on texture and color. All four manage to come up with stunning combinations. Duch stands out especially for his bowed timbral extensions but there is a mix of reeds, bass and drums (and "strings") that continually intrigues and shows a marked aural sensitivity and creativity.
It is another of the fine collective improv outings coming out of Europe these days. It is especially admirable for the single-minded construction of aural worlds it gathers for us in ten segments, each making virtuoso use of extended techniques for an especially resonant universe where at time pitch color is as important or more important than the extended or primal tonality the band incidentally produces. Other times the quartet gets going with a little bit of soul in a free jazz zone. Either way they succeed nicely.
It is that "more" that brings us a satisfyingly extension of what can be done these days. It may be in the "tradition" of new music freedom improv, but it unerringly finds its own set of zones and so creates an originality that is very uncanny as it is enjoyable to hear.