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Matana Roberts: COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis [Vinyl 1LP]

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Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska:
21.04.2022
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: Singlefoldowe etui
opis:

Ruch Muzyczny:
MIT i cierpienie - Matana Roberts SIĘGA po amerykańską tradycję muzyczną, której nie da się dzisiaj odbierać bez pewnego rodzaju SENTYMENTU.
Monumentalna seria Coin Coin, w której historia czarnej Ameryki i amerykańskiej muzyki XX wieku splata się z rodzinną genealogią Matany Roberts, dobiegła do jednej trzeciej zamierzonej, dwunastoczęściowej całości. Chapter Four jest historią linczu. Strukturę albumu wyznaczają fragmenty dziecięcego dziennika, fikcyjnego, mającego jednak oparcie w opowieściach babci saksofonistki o niezidentyfikowanej z nazwiska krewnej, Liddie. Zapiski obejmują tydzień z życia rodziny z południowych stanów, pełne są niepokojących obserwacji stosunków rasowych, które zapowiadają tragiczny finał.

Wielu Afroamerykanów odmawia opowiadania o historii amerykańskiego Południa językiem mitu, zacierającym prawdę o miejscu i czasach opresji, woli przemawiać językiem surowego naturalizmu, rewidując zakorzenione w kulturze popularnej tropy: krainy bluesa, rozśpiewanych czarnych kongregacji i wielkiej, pięknej Missisipi. Matana Roberts tego mitu nie porzuca. Sięga po amerykańską tradycję muzyczną, której nie da się dzisiaj odbierać bez pewnego rodzaju sentymentu. Kompozycja Matany Fit To Be Tied to rozłożysty blues, zaśpiewane a capella Her Mighty Waters brzmią majestatycznie niczym stary spirituals, uważny słuchacz dostrzeże też nawiązania do St. Louis Blues czy Tennessee Waltz. Ale nostalgia znika szybko, mit się rozwiewa i wraca nieoswojona rzeczywistość. W takiej interpretacji funkcję wyrywania słuchacza z bezpiecznego kokonu pełni freejazzowy rejwach – choć taka perspektywa zubaża warstwę instrumentalną, która nie jest wyłącznie komentarzem do opowieści.

Bo też poza historią i ludzkim dramatem jest na Memphis po prostu dużo świetnej muzyki improwizowanej. Sama melorecytacja Matany ma ogromne walory czysto muzyczne, dzięki niepowtarzalnej, naturalnej melodyce języka artystki. Mając do dyspozycji ciekawe instrumentarium – między innymi akordeon i skrzypce Hannah Marcus oraz oud i zatopioną w delayu gitarę Sama Shalabiego – Roberts umiejętnie manewruje bliskimi i dalekimi planami, tworząc zestawienia brzmieniowe bardzo odległe od typowo jazzowych.

Zwykle nawet w zaawansowanej muzyce improwizowanej myśl realizuje się w  obrębie jednego utworu. Tymczasem konstrukcja Memphis niejako zmusza słuchacza do tego, aby potraktował album jako całość. Podział na utwory, niekiedy bardzo drobne, robi wrażenie umownego, pojedyncze ścieżki niewiele znaczą bez odniesienia do sąsiadujących kompozycji i tylko w szerszym kontekście stają się zrozumiałe (w orientacji pomagają odbiorcy tekstowe i dźwiękowe leitmotivy: hymniczne, aylerowskie sygnały saksofonu, grupowe quasi-medytacje i alarmowe zawołania Matany). Nie ma na płycie osławionych jazzowych solówek – w zasadzie wszystkie improwizacje są kolektywne. Graficzna notacja wprowadza – przy wielkiej aranżacyjnej swobodzie i nacisku na działanie intuicyjne – element wyraźnej dyscypliny; muzycy swobodniej mogą się wypowiedzieć w zasadzie tylko w dłuższym Trail Of The Smiling Sphinx, którego ozdobą jest dialog, fantastyczny, bluegrassowych skrzypiec Marcus i freejazzowego altu liderki. Na Chapter Four Matana kazała czekać cztery lata. Ale było warto.
autor: Tomasz Gregorczyk

Editor's info:
Matana Roberts returns with the fourth chapter of her extraordinary Coin Coin series — a project that has deservedly garnered the highest praise and widespread critical acclaim for its fierce aesthetic originality and unflinching narrative power. The first three Coin Coin albums, issued from 2011-2015, charted diverse pathways of modern/avant composition — Roberts calls it “panoramic sound quilting”—and ranged sequentially from large band to sextet to solo, unified by Roberts’ archival and often deeply personal research into legacies of the American slave trade and ancestries of American identity/experience. Roberts also emphasizes non-male subjects and thematizes these other-gendered stories with a range of vocal and verbal techniques: singspeak, submerged glossolalic recitation, guttural cathartic howl, operatic voice, gentle lullaby, group chant, and the recuperation of various American folk traditionals and spirituals, whether surfacing in fragmentary fashion or as unabridged set-pieces. The root of this vocality comes from her dedication to the legacy of her main chosen instrument, the alto saxophone.

On Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts convened a new band, with New Yorkers Hannah Marcus (guitars, fiddle, accordion) and percussionist Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, Cass McCombs) joined by Montréal bassist Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet
Orchestra) and Montréal-Cairo composer/improviser Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on guitar and oud, along with prolific trombonist Steve Swell and vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Memphis unspools as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites, quoting archly and ecstatically from various folk traditions along the way. Led by Roberts’ conduction and unique graphic score practice, her consummate saxophone and clarinet playing, and punctuated by her singing and speaking various texts generated from her own historical research and diaristic writings, Coin Coin Chapter Four is a glorious and spellbinding new instalment in this projected twelve-part Gesamtkunstwerk.

Says Roberts: “As an arts adventurer dealing w/ the medium of sound and its many contradictions I am most interested in endurance, perseverance, migration, liberation, libation, improvisation and the many layers of cognitive dissonance therein as it relates to my birth country’s history. I speak memory, I sing an american survival through horn, song, sadness, a sometimes gladness. I stand on the backs of many people, from so many different walks of life and difference, that never had a chance to express themselves as expressively as I have been given the privilege. In these sonic renderings, I celebrate the me, I celebrate the we, in all that it is now, and all that is yet to come or will be… Thanks for listening.”

freejazzblog.org * * * * *:
The waiting has come to an end - Matana Roberts is back with the fourth chapter of her outstanding Coin Coin series, which has rightfully been praised as the most interesting long-term project in modern jazz. For those not familiar with the idea of the project: the first three Coin Coin albums, Gens de Couleurs Libres, Mississippi Moonchile, and River Run Thee, released between 2011 and 2015, were supposed to present history from a different perspective. Coin Coin has been planned as a 12-part magnum opus based on the life story of the former slave and later entrepreneur Marie Thérèse Coincoin, who lived in Louisiana at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century and was an ancestor of Roberts, whose parents moved from the South to Chicago and also used Coincoin as a nickname for their daughter. The project is therefore also a personal quest for one's own roots, but in the sense of an alternative historiography it’s much more than that. As a result, this album - like its predecessors - is both field research, political intervention, and sound event at the same time.

On Memphis, Roberts displays a vision of the past, the memories of a young woman whose parents were killed by the KKK, a story handed down to her by her Memphis-born grandmother. Roberts structures this story on the basis of a sequence of weekdays, at first the atmosphere seems idyllic and peaceful - from the child's point of view everything is rather jaunty, symbolised in the repeated phrase “I am a child of the wind / even daddy said so / we used to race and I would always win and he said / run baby run / run like the wind / that's it, the wind / the memory is the most unusual thing / peace be still“. However, in “All Things Beautiful“ this phrase gets a deeper, dramatic meaning, because the playful context is suddenly gone, everything becomes deadly serious: the little girl has to run for her life, because the family is hunted down by a racist mob. The girl manages to escape in the woods but is never to see her parents again.

Apart from the multidisciplinary aesthetics and narrative power Roberts has used on the previous Coin Coin albums, she has also presented different compositional approaches - she calls this “Panorama Sound Quilting“ -, the music arrangements ranged from big band to sextet to solo. Her music has mostly been categorized as free jazz but in reality it’s more like a cacophonous soundtrack consisting of a loud bouquet of horns, ouds, jaw harps, mouth organs, violins, guitars and vibraphones. That’s why Memphis is reminiscent of Gens de Couleurs Libres, like on the first part of the series, Roberts uses blues, Latin American music, and gospel motives, she even quotes jazz classics (here “St. Louis Blues“ in “Fit to be Tied“). In the longest piece (the album consists of 13 tracks but is rather one long suite), “Trail of the Smiling Sphinx“, Roberts layers bluegrass fiddles, freely improvising wind instruments and dark rhythms on top of each other, a fascinating mess of styles that points out that the blacks and whites in the South were clearly separated (“the house of god, they say, was no place for the mixing of races“, the child remembers someone say at the end of the track).

Moreover, Roberts uses different vocal and verbal techniques: folk song, recitation, cathartic throat screaming, opera voice, soft lullaby, choir music, call-and-response schemes - in general the revival of various American folk traditions and spirituals. Still, in the center there’s always Roberts and her instrument - the alto saxophone. For Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts founded a new band with Hannah Marcus (guitars, violin, accordion), percussionist Ryan Sawyer, the Montréal bassist Nicolas Caloia, and Sam Shalabi on guitar and oud (she has worked with him on her Feldspar album), as well as the extraordinary New-York-based trombonist Steve Swell and the vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Surrounded by these excellent musicians, Roberts’s alto is at its most sublime place, at the same time integrated into their sounds and dominating them. This arrangement makes her sound radiating even more beautiful.

In a nutshell: Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis is the next element of Roberts’s contribution to 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative evocative explorations, jazz tradition and free improvisations. Without any doubt my album of the year.
By Martin Schray

muzycy:
Matana Roberts: alto sax, clarinet, wordspeak, voice
Hannah Marcus: electric guitar, nylon string guitar, fiddle, accordion, voice
Sam Shalabi: electric guitar, oud, voice
Nicolas Caloia: double bass, voice
Ryan Sawyer: drumset, vibraphone, jaw harp, bells, voice

GUESTS:
Steve Swell: trombone, voice
Ryan White: vibraphone
Thierry Amar: voice
Nadia Moss: voice
Jessica Moss: voice

utwory:
A1. Jewels Of The Sky: Inscription 1:48
A2. As Far As Eyes Can See 4:03
A3. Trail Of The Smiling Sphinx 9:43
A4. Piddling 2:29
A5. Shoes Of Gold 3:07
A6. Wild Fire Bare 5:41
B1. Fit To Be Tied 2:41
B2. Her Mighty Waters Run 4:57
B3. All Things Beautiful 2:30
B4. In The Fold 3:16
B5. Raise Yourself Up 2:44
B6. Backbone Once More 0:51
B7. How Bright They Shine 2:50

wydano: Oct 18, 2019
nagrano: Recorded at Breakglass in Montréal, Québec

more info: www.cstrecords.com
more info2: www.matanaroberts.com

CST145LP

Opis

Wydawca
Constellation Records
Artysta
John Lewis
Nazwa
COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis [Vinyl 1LP]
Instrument
saxophones
Zawiera
Vinyl 1LP
Data premiery
2022-04-20
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