Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bambu, Alexandra Grimal, Benjamin Duboc, Valentin Ceccaldi

An open-ended, hard-edged trio excels in creating dramatic presence on the recent CD Bambu (Ayler Records 152). There is a European sort of new music-avant garde jazz confluence to be heard on this recording. The lower strings-plus-saxophones in the right hands makes for pronounced sonarity.

Benjamin Duboc has become to my mind one of the primary forces in avant garde double bass on the continent these days. He reminds us why here. Valentin Ceccaldi on cello holds forth as an extension and inner respondent-equal to Duboc. Alexandra Grimal tops the bottom or adds to it depending on which saxophone she is playing and its range. She establishes herself as a full creative co-respondent and in her vocal ruminations a sort of additional instrument.

You might say that this kind of music is a "thinking person's" free improv. There are some moments when there is a meditative care and hushed expectancy. Other segments burst forward in vivid timbral colors. Never does the music seem  rote. On the contrary we have a freshening both lyrical and other-earthly.

This is surely a music beyond category. It does not care what it is called. It sings itself. We join in. Worth your time and attention is this album! And you'll help out a label of real importance. Get it.

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