GET SHORTY – December 2014

Trying to definitively re-establish this (optimistically) monthly series of synoptical writeups about promos from the present day or – more likely – the last 5/7 years. Recyclable sentences for a purple-prose quote on a press sheet.

PETER BRÖTZMANN / JÖRG FISCHER – Live In Wiesbaden (Not Two, 2011)

Peter Brötzmann: tenor & alto sax, clarinet, tarogato; Jörg Fischer: drums

Peregrinating across the jubilant and the raucous, Brötzmann and Fischer need no precaution for melting frosts and burning bridges. Expanding a disquietude rooted in anger and passion, these non-convergent disquisitions sound like the blood on the bare feet of men walking on the road to saintliness. Injurious, problematic, healthful interplay.


Jörg Fischer: drums; Olaf Rupp: electric guitar; Frank Paul Schubert: saxophone

One full hour of fairly disembodied instant compositions. Mild iconoclasm, relative quietness, disagreement and vitality define the bulk of the whole, whose momentousness and fervency grow significantly over reiterated spins. Not prestidigitation; rather, solid-sounding transfigurations substantiated by effervescent technique and never-resting imaginativeness. Broad-minded formulations fighting improvisational listlessness with gusto.

PAT BATTSTONE / RICHARD POOLE – Mystic Nights (Self Release, 2012)

Pat Battstone: piano; Richard Poole: vibraphone

The risk of obvious, and frequently fallacious comparisons notwithstanding, a piano/vibes duet cannot be approached without taking into account the inherent gracefulness of a conjunct reverberation. This unique sympathy is embodied in all types of interaction: either through unpretentious touches allowing ample space of resonance or intertwining scalar complexities, a method for two accomplished players inevitably exists to let this instrumental pairing glow. Battstone and Poole do their best to get rid of “cheap jazz fat” residues, focusing the interactional creative thinking inside ambiances of romantically pensive radiance. Unquiet flurries and exploitation of close intervals represent added flavors.

CUMMI FLU – Z (Shitkatapult / Morr Music, 2015)

Oliver Doerell: all sounds, composition

With tons of dirt hailed as “artists/records of the year” by the sanctioned organs of information, why not suggesting something decent in the field of electronica based on recycling? Z is a carefully constructed album of organic rhythms (occasionally generated by rubber bands), catchy hooks, hypnotic loops and comestible dub. Think of a cross of softer versions of Musci & Venosta, Muslimgauze and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. I stress “softer”: we’re not on those levels, but this CD is well worth a few spins.

GERALD COHEN – Sea Of Reeds (Navona, 2014)

Grneta Ensemble (Vasko Dukovski: clarinet; Ismail Lumanovski: clarinet; Alexandra Joan: piano); Maria Lambros: viola; Jennifer Choi: violin

First meeting with Cohen’s music and a rewarding experience overall in regard to Sea Of Reeds, not a groundbreaking statement but, most definitely, a valuable compendium. Pacifying chamber textures derive from a variety of factors: in particular, the composer’s spiritual heritage, showcased in the re-adapting of several ancient Jewish tunes. The initial “Variously Blue” and the poignant “Slow, Still, Tranquil” (the latter from the Yedid Nefesh cycle) are this writer’s preferred episodes, a number of unheralded turns and a range of adroitly organized contrapuntal climates interpreted by impeccable performers utterly involved with the material. When “harmonious virtuosity” rhymes with “moderation”, that’s OK with me.

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  1. Pingback: A BRAND-NEW review from TOUCHING EXTREMES magazine!!! -

  2. Pingback: News and Events from New York composer Gerald Cohen - Peter McDowell Arts

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