The clever exploitation of a single concept across an ideal duration of just over 26 minutes makes a rewarding listen of Canto, a work for solo soprano saxophone by Swiss Christian Kobi. This website’s regular attendants are aware of my constant invectives concerning the standardization of formerly “extended” techniques in today’s improvisation, especially as far as reeds are concerned. Almost every time I pick something from that area of “investigation”, the feel is like that of being hit by droplets of saliva by the hundred, getting a cold from the chilly currents coming from inside those tubes in the meantime. Kobi realized that the problem could be solved by transforming a trite trick into the essential layer of his music, and that from that bubbling, raspy stratum beautiful things can still come out, under the guise of strained pitches and hoarse upper partials that exist, wobble, waver and affirm their right to be a part of the composition against all odds. It’s that simple, really. The combinations of tarnished abstraction and concrete tones – the latter of weak constitution, yet shining of a peculiarly refracting light – add up to a short, sharp and attractive minimalist piece that deserves to be both lauded and replayed. Loud, relatives permitting.

Posted in Uncategorized