Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Sylvie Courvoisier, Ned Rothenberg, Julian Sartorius, Lockdown
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, Special Edition Box
The box contains a studio CD of the duet entitled Procedural Language, a Blu-Ray of the duo Live in Sao Paulo at SESC, a video capturing them at said event on July 11, 2019. Then there is an informative booklet, Embrace of Souls by Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg.
I no longer have the capability to view Blu-Ray disks on any of my devices so I was not able to watch the DVD. I am sure it is worthy but I have not been able to check it out.
The booklet has an appreciation and chronology that puts the music in perspective, followed by an annotated discography of interest to any collector-enthusiast.
The whole package is quite handsome but it is the CD Procedural Language that grabs my attention especially and attracts my ears with each listen. There are twelve improvisational segments for Ivo's tenor and Matt's piano, every one a significant improvisational utterance, freely articulate and ever filled with a Jazz joyfulness. Ivo testifies, declares, while Matt responds with free structuring towers of pianism that beautifully open up the moment with great ideas that spur Ivo on all the more.
It is some of the most remarkable of their duets, which is saying a lot since we have been blessed with some real gem sessions from the two in the last five years. Tumbling, driving, contemplating, exclaiming, decrying, balladizing, harmo-melodic stratosphering, they spontaneously travel the musical spaceways in ways that ring true always. If you need rejuvenation (and nowadays who doesn't?) this music appears as an oasis in sometimes an all-too-arid wasteland of the everyday. Here are Ivo and Matt in the full maturity of where they are right now, savoring each moment of music filling the air, letting the interlocking ideas flow unhindered. for optimum constancy of "telling it."
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Francois Carrier, Alexander Hawkins, Nirguna, John Edwards, Michel Lambert
There are days when life intervenes, when it gets in the way of a set routine. If ever one might get distracted, that would be the case in the last year with the Pandemic and etc. So at some point, today's two-CD set arrived in the mail, I noted it with interest, set it aside and...well here we are and it is later. Never too late, though. I now with close listening realize how interesting, important, good, etc. is this album named Nirguna (ColYaKoo Music). It is a live date from the Vortex Jazz Club in London from June 2017.
It is a very auspicious gathering of Francois Carrier on alto saxophone, Alexander Hawkins on piano, John Edwards, bass, and Michel Lambert on drums. This is the primo Free Jazz we have come to expect from Francois Carrier, with a most remarkable continuity of total freedom flow, of endlessly inventive lining by the full quartet, tumbling outwards, inspired and without a set pulse, so that the four can take off and soar without the least restriction.
Nirguna in Hindu religious practice means without form or without qualities. That is quite appropriate in the sense that this music is virtually that, though playing with intention does indeed have some kinds of spontaneous form and qualities, yet here we think in terms of no set form or quality. Just like is implicated in post-Freudian psychoanalytic parlance, where a human utterance "means" sometimes in some possibly unconscious way, so this music also means without setting out overtly to intend, though too it may defy some easy set of words to describe it.
The two CDs carry two long improvisations each. The overflowing four-way output can be torrentially heated, pointillistically jagged, fluidly mercurial and/or percussively insistent. Never for a moment does this music flag. And clearly one feels the instantaneousness of it and it exhilarates in the doing!
The Carrier plus Hawkins, Edwards, and Lambert quartet combination is one of Francois' most productive groups to my mind, most inspired, and the live London club setting seems to add to it so that everyone is set into a freedom that has no end in terms of good spontaneous ideas and interlocking power. Carrier, Hawkins, Edwards and Lambert each turn in remarkable performances in both their intrinsic worth and their ability to respond creatively and intelligently each to the other. And never for a moment do you forget that "this is Jazz" for whatever that means ultimately. Never for a moment is there not a central stream of driving expression.
It is a triumphant performance from first-to-last. If you wonder about Carrier or Free Jazz here is a great place to start, If you already know it is a must nonetheless! Hoorah!