FREDI PRÖLL / UDO SCHINDLER / ULI WINTER – Schi.Va – Live 24.11.2010

Pilgrims Of Sound

Uli Winter: violoncello; Fredi Pröll: drums, percussion; Udo Schindler: soprano sax, clarinets, cornet

The trio’s denomination is a condensed mix of “Schindler” and “Va Servito Ben Fresco”, the Austrian duo of Pröll and Winter (the translation from the Italian, for the inquisitive ones, is “It Must Be Served Quite Cold” – exactly as the proverbial revenge). This extensive set, taped in Munich, demonstrates how individual sentience, cohesive responsiveness and, icing on the cake, the knowledge of an instrument inside and out constitute the essentials of rewarding improvisation independently from a given expressive style.

Without recurring to overly allegorical Pindaric flights, let me just say that the last time in which this recording was enjoyed by yours truly was this very morning during a lengthy walk, subsequent to a night of rain and with the still-greyish sky opening to feeble rays of sun. In the middle of a bridge over the Tiber, glancing at the hovering circling seagulls, suddenly everything clicked. The smell of dampness and the honking cars didn’t matter anymore, as I was literally inhaling the instrumental scents coming from my headphones. The music adapted magnificently to both natural and urban elements, appearing endowed with the same values of a more-stimulating-than-usual quotidian flow. The existence of some sort of vital principle in the unlikely realms of metropolitan diversity, you know.

Voluble communicativeness, photographic detailing, ability of realizing when the moment is right to expel a sound or not, in order to transform that “something” into a passage that counts. Splendidly balanced alternance of dynamics – susurrations and undertones spinning around themselves to reach points of ever-intelligible turbulence and instability. Hints to somewhat “softer” typologies of free jazz attempting to gain centre stage before “neurotic calmness” is restored; subdued touches, subtle plucks, creaking strokes and perfect pitches recalling a forward-looking chamber ensemble.

Single voices that give the idea of decades of silent, concentrated training alone in a room, superior technique and throbbing of the internal organs equally audible. Musicians revealing definite aims even in their most unpremeditated movements, all three proficiently and uniquely aware. These four tracks put across all of the above and other welcome perceptions in a rather obscure collectible edition that fully deserves your care. By the way, we’re not finished with Herr Schindler yet: a toothsome sample of his first-class solo performances is going to be discussed herein as soon as possible.

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