Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nuova Camerata, Chant

The avant-free chamber jazz unit Nuova Camerata makes a modern "new music" confluence that is a product of the vibrant sonic combinations inherent in the group and the exceptional musicality of the participants. The instrumentation is marimba, violin, viola, cello and contrabass, played by the very imaginative and capable improvisers Pedro Carneiro, Carlos "Zingaro," Joao Camoes, Ulrich Mitzlaff, and Miguel Leiria Pereira, respectively, all for their very stimulating disk Chant (Improvising Beings ib50).

This set contains the kind of magic you get when five superior musical minds get together and forge a music freely and spontaneously made yet filled with an inner musical logic that is the sum of the five working against each other. It shows you how far the "new music" wing of free improvisation has come over its existence this past 50 years or so.

There are other ensembles doing music like this in Europe and the US, and each one is different, though there is a certain amount of interchangeable personnel that has to do with both geographical proximity and natural inclinations.

Nuovo Camerata surely is one of the very best of such ensembles, and we should give a shout out to the Improvising Beings label for covering such music when it is hardly an endeavor to make one rich.

One might remark that it is such boutique labels that have done a great deal in the past decades to keep uncompromising improvisation alive, just as ESP, Blue Note, and handful of others kept the most modern of jazz out in front of its potential audiences in earlier times.

But aside from all that, Chant is remarkable for the cohesiveness of the sonic envelopes it creates. This is music caught in freeze frame, a CD of remarkable togetherness that will never be duplicated in quite this way again. They could record yet another album, and one hopes they will, and it would not duplicate what transpires here. And out of that beauty is a fragility. Like snowflakes every one would be different, out into the air and then gone, and every one would also realize a unique structure special unto itself.

That's part of what makes this music so attractive. But even if you did not know how these special sorts of gatherings come together, you with keen and open ears would appreciate the sounds with a little effort.

So grab a copy of Chant and appreciate an especially fine musical snowflake.

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