EVELYN GLENNIE / JON HEMMERSAM / SZILÁRD MEZEI / MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS – The Core-tet Project

Naxos

A summit of acoustic maestros (in this case – just for the aliens – percussion, guitar, viola and piano in order of name) implies a high probability of getting infected by the much dreaded “Friday Night In San Francisco” virus, its main effect being the dullness deriving from a surplus of sterile instrumental periphrases. We’re glad to report that The Core-tet Project stands as distant from that condition as any demanding listener could desire.

The quartet’s target – playing spontaneous material not deprived of formal characteristics – was not a simple one to hit. The impetus that pushes an artist’s inspiration beyond the borders of plausibility can occasionally incorporate a partial inability of respecting the principles of perceptive improvisation, exactly as it happens during conversations involving more than two persons.

However, the communal inner ear worked alright this time. As a matter of fact, consistency and explicitness are spread all over the place, even when things appear rather labyrinthine. A revealing clue in that sense is our eagerness to focus on individual voices, following them across idealistic promenades and more concrete approaches while still retaining the ability of receiving the music as a wholeness. The resulting complexity includes wide-ranging collective outbursts, rational reverberations and puzzling intricacies.

All in all, the problem is not in the listening “effort”: the teamwork’s quality speaks for itself, warranting gratification in large doses. It is actually harder to find serviceable terminologies to better render the abundance of perspectives informing this record, whose seriousness is definitely out of question. Given the well-known attributes of the partakers, we had no doubt whatsoever to begin with.

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