Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eric Zinman, Rocks in the Sea

Eric Zinman, pianist of the wider spectrum of possibilities in improvisation, has not exactly basked in the limelight of critical and popular attention in recent years, and yet there is a concentrated consistency of intelligent expression in his music. The same could be said of flute and reedman Mario Rechtern. When the two decided to put their heads together on a somewhat lengthy tone-poem composition-improvisation, there was a compatibility of outlooks that made it a most sensible proposition.

They assembled a quartet by adding the very sympathetic and articulate players Benjamin Duboc on acoustic bass and Didier Lasserre on drums. The four set to work expressing the collaborative idea in a recording session in Paris, 2009. The results are here for us to explore and appreciate on the recently released CD Rocks in the Sea (Cadence Jazz 1225).

Very cohesive "free" playing is the order of the day, a continuous 45-or-so minute performance that brings a beautiful four-way interaction into being. The music explores avenues of introspection and energy in turn, and in the end one is left with the feeling of having traveled some personal distance, of having embarked on a journey in music that somehow captures a little of life the way it is lived today. Or at least that's how it felt for me.

It's a free-flowing tour de force with Eric playing his version of an all-over piano style of energy and emotional precision, with Mario unleashing a barrage of heat, especially on the baritone, and with the rhythm section giving free-thrusting propulsion.

This is music that does not compromise or back down. Avant improv aficionados will take readily to the music. It's a good way to experience the music of Eric Zinman and Mario Rechtern. It is a good addition to anyone's free improv library.

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