Friday, April 29, 2016

Almeida, Doynhoven, Klein, Vibrate in Sympathy

If you want to get a quick bead on the trio of Tobais Klein (alto sax, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet), Goncalo Almeida (double bass), and Martin van Duynhoven (drums), specifically on their album Vibrate in Sympathy (Clean Feed 341), you might consider the three dedications appended to three of their numbers, that is to Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake and Ornette Coleman. I do not mean to say that those three dedications explain the music fully and we can be done with it. But it does give you a hint of what to expect.

Klein, Almeida and van Duynhoven do manage to give us their own vision of a freely articulate trio jazz with crucial compositional and improvisational elements that are certainly beholden to the avant tradition of the three masters paid tribute to. Klein gets considerable torque on the alto and makes the bass and contrabass clarinets speak with great color. He manages NOT to sound too much like anyone else in the process. He is soulful, noteful and original. Almeida is very much a full-blown virtuoso on the contrabass, fulfilling a special function on arco and pizzicato for the compositional sections, an ensemble bassist of great skill and invention, and a soloist who makes for lines of continual interest. And van Duynhoven finds a comfortable, catalytic niche as a swinging time component when called upon, or as a creative drummer in the open freedom zone. What he does always seems right for the moment.

Take all of that and lay it out in nine numbers and you have some seriously worthwhile music, a trio seriously contributing to what is happening today. They put a good deal of thought, feeling and interplay into the set. In the end you go away smiling. Because this one HAS the genuine frisson the new new thing needs to launch into excellent musical territory. Highly recommended!

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