Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FUSK, Super Kasper

The reasons FUSK are interesting are all the more clear on their new album Super Kasper (Why Play Jazz RS009). It's their sound for one. Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet, Philipp Gropper on tenor saxophone play intricate counterpoint with the sound colors and attack of post-Dolphy and post-Simmons. It's a hard sonorous blend made all the better by the quality of the lines they articulate together, both written and improvised. The compositions are pithy and sharply bittersweet, having angular elements worthy of Lacy and Dolphy as lineage mates, with a shifting rhythmic intensity Mingus would have appreciated. There are three group improvisations and the formal compositions are (well) written by drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen.

The rhythm section of Christiansen and bassist Andreas Lang work together with soul and precision, engaging in wondrous rhythmic shadowboxing together. There are continually shifting accents that the two handle with ease while still deftly implying and/or articulating a loping outside swing feeling.

The individual solo work of Mahall and Gropper is challenging and worthwhile, expanding outwards with stay-the-course originality.

Leader Kaspar Tom C. has managed to found a quartet utterly distinguished by the personalities of the players. . . and Kaspar's energetic, rollicking vision of how a band can swing wildly and be filled with outside expressiveness throughout.

This new album is even better than the last. Listen and you will be transported to a Super Kaspar-land, a very good place to be indeed.

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