I think about the distance that passes between two different meanings of the
word "mainstream": the one that refers to those characteristics
that are "objectively" an accepted part of any given musical idiom,
the other the one that refers to what mass audiences really consider as something
they are prepared to like. And those two can differ quite dramatically! A
good example of this being this CD: on one hand, quite easy to grasp, absolutely
not too hard on the ear, well played, well recorded; but too subtle, I suspect,
too distant from the usual theme-solo-solo-theme framework, too devoid of
those cheap showy tricks which many times are the real reason for a successful
Trouvés is the name of a well-rehearsed quartet. Nimble pianist Gabriela
Friedli is also the writer of those melodic/thematic fragments that pop up
once in a while, not necessarily exactly where one would expect them to be.
Co Streif, whom I remember as a young sax player from about fifteen years
ago, is the appropriate performer on alto and soprano saxophone; while on
the former instrument she sometimes sounds as a strange mix of Paul Desmond
and Elton Dean, on the latter she manages to bring to the mind both Evan Parker
and Steve Lacy (not at the same time!). Good drums by Dieter Ulrich. In my
opinion the sound of the electric bass played by Jan Schlegel has a bit too
much compression, which makes for two decidedly unpleasant consequences: first,
which notes are being played is sometimes not that easy to understand; then,
everything is OK when Ulrich is on cymbals (which fortunately happens quite
often), but when he plays the drums some frequencies clash.
are four long tracks, sometimes sounding like a suite. Once in a while one
detects some echoes of Bossa. Nice soprano start à la Lacy, after the
piano enters sounding a chord, at the end of Pugglig - Fledged (at about 13'
11"). It's also quite peculiar to notice that a "percussive"
soprano à la Parker morphs into a clear singing à la Lacy during
the first part of Lucullus - Ursa Maj (at about 2' 39"). Nice thought:
not once I looked at my watch while listening to this album.
© Beppe Colli 2006
CloudsandClocks.net | Jan. 25, 2006