Thursday, March 31, 2016

Zero Plus, Aurora Josephson, Philipp Wachsmann, Jacob Lindsay, Damon Smith, Martin Blume

Following a year and a half of Aurora Josephson (vocals), Jacob Lindsay (clarinets) and Damon Smith (double bass) playing together as a trio, the three got together for two live gigs and a studio date as a quintet with the addition of Philipp Wachsman (violin/electronics) and Martin Blume (drums). The result is Zero Plus (Balance Point Acoustics 007). The aim as Damon Smith explains in the liners was to accommodate the creative line-producing abilities of five free-avant notables, and to truly listen. The idea was to utilize short phrases ("marks," as Damon describes it) and lines in a series of solos, duets. trios, quartets and in the totality, ultimately a quintet.

This results in some very adventuresome, at times dense, but always productive interactions. Each player is limited only by the physical characteristics of his or her "instruments". In the active listening mode they manage to get a kind of telepathy of anticipation happening where all act concertedly (or consortedly) to create spontaneous wholes of significance.

The collective waves of sound we experience in listening are part of a two-fold situation where the artistry of each member, their music personality or footprint, manages to work in tandem with the others to create something that is multi-valent, with plural sound meanings that do not blend so much as simultate, to butcher a phrase. They sound together in related apartness, so to say.

As much as the quintet focused in with fervid intent to create an interrelated whole, the listener too must put some effort into untangling the ever-varied web of combinatory logic that they create as a collective.

The music is free improvisation that works well, exceptionally so, by the sensitive push-pull of differences in time and aural space. These are artists of like mind, of true creative, generative abilities, who give us eleven segments each with its own sort of organic qualities. We get first-rate improvisatory synchronies, a set of them, that distinguish these five players as operating in a very effective zone.

It all will bear your attention well, I very much trust! Recommended for all the adventurists out there, all the free improv fans. Nice!

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