Friday, January 20, 2012

Hasler-Paeffgen-Berger, Thoughtful Open-Ended Trio Freedom

(Werner) Hasler-(Gilbert) Paeffgen-(Karl) Berger (No Business NBCD 33), trumpet & electronics, drums, and vibes, respectively. This is alternatingly subtle and bracing, free-floating and rhythmically driving music. Paeffgen plays some well conceived drum improvisations, Hasler's trumpet is engaging, his electronics colorful, and Berger is his always exploratory self throughout.

I suppose this is chamber jazz, though it hardly matters what you call it on the level of the music itself. The sparseness of the instrumentation gives plenty of room for all three to collaborate dynamically, to use the space allocated to them for strongly creative interactions. The notes denote a fully healthy, fully concious musical animal. It is alive with vibrant improvisations restricted to no formal limitations.

If you needed evidence that Karl Berger keeps trudging forward after so many years, here it is. He is unassumingly central, still. And the other two thirds of the trio are no less important to this music gem.

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