KUZU: The Glass Delusion [Vinyl 1LP]
freejazzblog.org * * * * 1/2
In her book In Praise of Risk, the French philosopher and psychotherapist Anne Dufourmantelle, who sadly passed away far too early in 2017, deals with the concept of suspense at a central point. For her, it means to hold your breath and to look with as much attention as possible at what is simply there, at what offers itself to you in the presence of things. According to her, suspension is not a standstill of time before the event, it’s the event itself. It’s the beginning of inner time, since the decision has in fact already been made, only no one has known it yet...
Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska: 2021-11-02
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
opakowanie: Singlefoldowe etui
Astral Spirit presents The Glass Delusion by Kuzu. Recorded October 13th, 2018 at Elastic Arts in Chicago and October 14th, 2018 at The Sugar Maple in Milwaukee, WI. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dave Zuchowski. All compositions by Rempis/Dorji/Damon. Special Thanks to Adrienne Pierluissi and Bob Szocik. Artwork & Layout by Robert Beatty.
freejazzblog.org * * * * 1/2
In her book In Praise of Risk, the French philosopher and psychotherapist Anne Dufourmantelle, who sadly passed away far too early in 2017, deals with the concept of suspense at a central point. For her, it means to hold your breath and to look with as much attention as possible at what is simply there, at what offers itself to you in the presence of things. According to her, suspension is not a standstill of time before the event, it’s the event itself. It’s the beginning of inner time, since the decision has in fact already been made, only no one has known it yet.
Compared to Kuzu’s latest album, The Glass Delusion, there are some interesting parallels. The band - Dave Rempis (saxophones), Tashi Dorji (guitar), Tyler Damon (drums) - feels its way forward with an idea of where the improvisation should go to, they stake out their field. In the process, the music resembles a conception that has become sound, that does not touch the ground and seems to refuse to take any direction. It’s perfectly open, it remains in an exciting uncertainty - for the musicians and the listener. Rempis and his colleagues seem to enjoy to dwell in this exciting position for as long as possible, because it forces them to remain tense for something unexpected that can happen at any moment. At the same time, it’s important to avoid prefabricated schemes, to stay as far away as possible from the big, worn-out gestures, answers and platitudes (as to Kuzu this would mean punk rock jazz). Rigid certainties must be avoided, though it’s still necessary to act. Yet, this state isn’t one of anxious or hesitant waiting. The music doesn’t have to point towards a goal, the state of suspension itself is the event.
The beginning of the first track “It Simply Becomes Jammed Part 1“ and the last track, “Gnash“, are perfect examples of this. They bookend the improvisation and the guitars flicker over single notes, the sounds pearl like shards of glass on the floor. The saxophone carefully feels its way from note to note as if it was lost in a timeless space, while the cymbal shots ricochet through the room and the drum brushes tremble like hummingbird wings. It’s like a sonic mirage in a desert. Yet, there is direction. Tyler Damon pushes the band relentlessly forward in “It Simply Becomes Jammed Part 1“, there’s a straight, irresistible rock groove. But it’s not the goal everyone is heading to, you’re rather reminded of a tense, exciting interlude. It’s the moment which is reminiscent of the former Kuzu albums - Purple Dark Opal, Hiljaisuus, and Lift To Drag. Here the band is as intense as usual, they are energetic, repetitive and straight into your face.
However, the real quality of this album is a different one. Compared to the Kuzu albums before The Glass Delusion the most self-reflective one. We get to know a different band, a tender one that displays the more sensitive and dramatic sides of their musical identity. Very surprising, very recommended.
By Martin Schray
If you have a watchful eye and taste for free jazz, you’ve probably have heard of Kuzu, an experimental trio co-led by saxophonist Dave Rempis, Bhutan-born guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon.
Their abstract mechanics is right on display throughout their second Astral Spirits recording, The Glass Delusion, a proper follow-up to Hiljaisuus, released in 2018 (the year of the group's formation) on the same label, as well as Purple Dark Opal, which came out last year on Rempis’ label Aerophonic Records.
The first two improvisations are titled “It Simply Becomes Jammed”, with part one clocking in at 21-and-a-half minutes and the second at 10. During the first installment we have a buzzing effervescence gaining prevalence until being completely refracted via complex guitar noodling and pointillistic counterpoint that supports and responds to the bursts of saxophone delivered with magnetic timbral variety. The energized drumming proposed by Damon embraces primitive rhythmic states at the core, but on the surface, both chops and textures are filled with a pleasing intricacy. Spreading their sounds in every direction, the trio assembles decorative sonic mosaics using repetitive figures, droning murmurs and perceptive rhythmic cadences.
Part 2 kicks off with improvisational firepower. Guitar pollution joins the jumpy drum work, generating a chaotic feel gingered up by the herculean saxophone raids atop. Rempis, a titanic force in the Chicago free jazz scene, is a constant searcher, whose prolific ideas often ignite the spark for rhythmic reactions. Whether encouraged or backlashed by the rhythm team, his actions always stir something worthy of attention.
The third and last track on the album, “Gnash”, probes more pacific, sometimes mantric atmospheres well anchored in Dorji’s exotic guitar. With the trio united in prayer, this is like having a psychedelic stew made of free improv and Eastern patterns. The finale highlights the work of the guitarist, who explores tapped harmonies, looped sequences and piercing, chiming effects.
Bending, tugging and expanding, the music of Kuzu confirms they keep looking ahead.
Dave Rempis: alto/tenor/baritone saxophone
Tashi Dorji - guitar
Tyler Damon: drums
A1. It Simply Becomes Jammed Part 1 21:28
B1. It Simply Becomes Jammed Part 2 9:58
B2. Gnash 12:18
nagrano: Recorded October 13th, 2018 at Elastic Arts in Chicago and October 14th, 2018 at The Sugar Maple in Milwaukee, WI
more info: www.astralspiritsrecords.com
- Astral Spirits (USA)
- KUZU - Rempis, Dorji, Damon
- The Glass Delusion [Vinyl 1LP]
- Vinyl 1LP
- Data premiery