Ken Vandermark, Thomas Lehn, Matthias Muche, Martin Blume: Soundbridges
Trzech czołowych muzyków niemieckiej sceny improwizowanej – perkusista Martin Blume, Matthias Muche na puzonie i Thomas Lehn na syntezatorze – zaprasza legendę Chicago - Kena Vandermarka.
Efekt to kwintesencja tego, co składa się na free jazz w 2022 roku. Brutalne, energetyczne, ekspresyjne kawalkady dźwięków, które gubią się jak w gigantycznej jaskini stalaktytowej, po tym chwile ciszy, i z powrotem...
Najciekawszym faktem jest zastąpienie basu w sekcji rytmicznej przez analogowy syntezator, co otwiera zupełnie nowe możliwości dźwiękowe...
Kończące płytę "Soundbridges" oferuje zdumiewającą dynamikę, dziki free jazz, ale też fazy kontemplacyjne. Narracja jest zaskakująco jednorodna, jakby nie było linii podziału.
Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska: 2023-01-16
opakowanie: Jewelcaseowe etui
Live concerts have become a rarity in times of Corona. For a music form that practically 'lives' from improvisation and interaction, a special magic emanates from concerts: They are an audiovisual experience. On this recording, you can't see the musicians, but you can feel their energy and imagine them playing together and communicating and listening to each other.
SOUNDBRIDGES was recorded on September 24, 2021 as part of the 'Ruhr Jazz Festival' at the Bochum Art Museum. Sharing the stage that evening were four musicians whose paths have crossed several times over the decades: Ken Vandermark, Matthias Muche, Thomas Lehn and Martin Blume. And the fun they are having is audible. They go straight into full swing, as if they had a world to win: Shouts on the saxophone and trombone are amplified by driving rhythms and analog synthesizer sounds.
One free jazz attack follows the next. After four minutes things suddenly quiet down again – the calm after the storm. Signal tones 'from outer space', abruptly interrupted by loud noise and threatening feedbacks, meet tonal fissures and overtones accompanied by the discreet beating on drums, bells and various other objects. It continues like this for the next 50 minutes, constantly fluctuating between the calm and dynamic parts, without ever losing its footing. And then culminates in a loud explosion, which after 35 minutes functions like a sound bridge that keeps the music flowing.
Even though there are almost no guidelines, the four musicians don't move in a vacuum. They are able to draw on shared experiences from the stage and studio. The present concert also marks the end of a short tour. And as is so often the case with improvised music, the other concerts continue to resonate here: The interplay is intuitive, creating a delicate, yet complex sound structure that is held together by an imaginary band.
The title SOUNDBRIDGES, by the way, is a reference to a technique known from the cinema. It involves semantic and referential dynamics, as well as the acceleration and superimposition of different scenes – or in the case of the music, different pieces. The titles not only allude to cinematic archetypes – The Thirty-Nine Steps is an hom-age to Hitchcock's film of the same name – they also play with the technique: Aperture, Arc Shot or Overlapping Edges. The transitions are correspondingly fluid and there are hardly any breaks. Instead, a simultaneousness is created, even as the next radical turn resounds: The Echo connects the past with the future while leaving listeners space to develop their own (audio) visions. A sequel is strongly welcome!
Imagine the following scenario: A highly likeable German soccer club, whose team inspires mainly (but not only) by its playing style (but not only), augments themselves for one season with an outstanding international superstar (e.g. Cristiano Ronaldo or Erling Haaland). This is what it looks like when three top musicians of the German improv scene - drummer Martin Blume, who initiated this project, Matthias Muche on trombone and Thomas Lehn on synthesizer - invite Chicago legend Ken Vandermark as their turbo.
What you get is, a whole panopticon of what constitutes free jazz in 2022. Brutal, energetic, expressive outbursts; sounds that get lost like in a giant stalactite cave; moments of silence; a back-and-forth shuffling of tones. But what makes the band’s own sound so distinctive? The obvious and most interesting fact is that the bass in the rhythm section is replaced by an analogue synthesizer, which opens up completely different sonic possibilities. This is immediately evident in the short opener “Aperture“, when the pinpricks of the winds are mirrored by electronic gargle tones, or when Thomas Lehn blurs them with textures as in “Aspect Ration“. Here he sounds like a fierce wind whipping wet flags against a wall. What is more is the fact that the quartet excels in small gestures: The musicians harmonize with delicate ease, build tension without resorting to plain crescendos, slip from one unexpected note to another at the last second, find drama in silence and calm in chaos.
In some, rather quiet moments, this is reminiscent of Pauline Oliveiros’s Deep Listening Band, then again of sounds on a Formula 1 race track or a fairground, especially when Muche and Vandermark exchange wild blows, as at the end of "The Thirty-Nine Steps“.
Again, Soundbridges offers a lot: dynamics, wild free jazz, contemplative phases, sound excursions. Everything flows homogeneously into each other as if there were no dividing lines. Through sound bridges, in the most beautiful sense of the word.
by By Martin Schray
Ken Vandermark - Tenor Saxophone
Thomas Lehn - Synthesizer
Matthias Muche - Trombone
Martin Blume - Drums
1. Aperture (04:49)
2. Aspect Ratio (12:59)
3. The Thirty-Nine Steps (19:23)
4. Arc Shot (11:21)
5. Overlapping Edges (03:30)
more info: www.jazzwerkstatt.de
- Jazzwerkstatt (DE)
- Ken Vandermark, Thomas Lehn, Matthias Muche, Martin Blume
- tenor saxophone
- Data premiery