FREDY STUDER with LAUREN NEWTON / SAADET TÜRKÖZ / AMI YOSHIDA – Voices

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This is an attractive venture that, although dating from 2009, retains interest to this day. Studer performs a solo piece to begin with, then it’s just duets with entirely different vocalists in age, experience and fields of experimentation. What the host does is generating an acoustic environment for each singer to adapt in and start dialogues that sound lively, funny, dramatic or lyrical depending on the protagonists. Newton transforms the remnants of scat in a series of erratic syllables and phonemes that constitute a perfect complement for the single male specimen’s ruptures of drumming regularity. Türköz is the one who sounds more linked to echoes of ancient eras, heartfelt vocalizations evoking ghosts of primeval tunes and silent lamentations (though she’s also able to displace us with doses of fragmentariness in the final “Love Song”). Yoshida is her usual self: strangled gurgles, infinitesimal subdivisions of the larynx and an incredibly deep starkness hiding hundreds of codes and microscopic turns which literally cancel anything you could figure out about a conventional feminine pitch. The strange (and welcome) news is that, despite the clear distinction between the diverse styles, there’s such a high degree of coherence in the sequence of the tracks that one might think, with eyes closed, to a three-voice-plus-percussionist quartet acting collectively in a unique setting. Several momentous conjunctions of akin spirits enrich this laudable album; the rest is still replete with humour and intelligence.

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