Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A New Spin on the New Thing from the New Language Collaborative

Ayler Records, a Swedish label that offers up improv and "new thing" jazz with a good ear for interesting ensembles, has a download-only series that introduces you to various recordings otherwise unavailable, some very good, all interesting. For $10 you get a near CD-quality MP3 download of the album plus all art and notes. This makes them the Nonesuch of new jazz, if anybody remembers what they used to do.

One release I've been listening to in the past week I think especially interesting. It's by the New Language Collaborative and they title it New Fields. The four-person juggernaut responsible for the music contained therein create seven excellent equal-voiced quartet excursions. Now you may not have heard of Eric Zinman (piano), Mario Rechtern (reeds), Glynis Lomon (cello) and Syd Smart (drums) but that's OK. This is not music of a cult of personality, star-takes-all sort. It's more akin to some of the earlier improv groups like the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, MEV and AMM. This band though sticks a little closer to the vocabulary of free jazz than the above mentioned precursors. But not with a solos and rhythm concept. At least not very much. The four-way equality of voices, the musical dialog is continuous and unfailingly coherent. There is a judiciousness of sound involved, a deliberateness and a free-sound eloquence that distinguishes this outing. There are moments of frenetic density, as one expects in this music, but nothing continuous, and the various moods and densities seem to grow out of one another in a kind of natural logic the four musicians share.

Well, so if you don't like out music, will you like this one? No. I don't think it will change you. If you do like it, though, you will. And if you don't know, you may know a little after listening. Or not. That's how life can be, right? It's very groovy music for those that already know where they stand. Fifty years of this music probably wont change the mind of others. But who can tell, this one might convince you if you open those ears.

Get the download or just shop around at http://www.ayler.com/.

No comments:

Post a Comment