AMN Reviews: Gussoni / Magliocchi / Northover – The Sea of Frogs [Plus Timbre PT092]; Foutel + Palotta: Mandarina [Plus Timbre PT091]

When so inclined, even the smallest of ensembles—duos and trios—can put forward music of a surprising timbral complexity. Two recordings of improvised music from Europe and Argentina capture a trio and duo that are indeed so inclined.

The trio of Bruno Gussoni, Marcello Magliocchi and Adrian Northover has the unusual instrumentation of flutes, drums and soprano saxophone (played by Gussoni, Magliocchi and Northover, respectively). The standard flute and soprano sax share a substantial overlap in range, but differ markedly in timbre: one is hollow and airy in the low register and bright in the high register, while the other is penetrating and nasal in the upper register and reedy and dense in the lower register. In combination, they can create startling contrasts of color, as they do here. Whether played together in blocks of sound or as flurries of notes strung together in intertwining lines, the two instruments open up a sometimes very subtle space of difference between them. In their unaccompanied Duo #1, these differences are emphasized through extended techniques such as air notes and key clicks; elsewhere dynamic contrasts come into play, as in the opening piece for trio and in Trio #3’s upper register passages and held tones. Given the frequently delicate balance of sounds surrounding him, Magliocchi responds with sensitivity and open textures, never crowding out the winds. His skill as a colorist is evident throughout, but especially on Duo #2 for drums and soprano sax, and Duo #3 for drums and flute.

Foutel + Palotta are Argentinian—pianist Ana Foutel is from Buenos Aires, where Mandarina was recorded, while multi-instrumentalist Edgardo Palotta is from Quilmes. Their six duets are notable for their timbral adventurousness thanks largely to Foutel’s exquisite extended techniques and Palotta’s eclectic battery of wind, string and percussion instruments. On Noctilucas, a dark, ponderously paced piece, for instance, Foutel transforms the piano into a reasonable facsimile of a mallet percussion instrument; on Sándalo she plays directly on the strings with metal objects to give the piano a brittle, harpsichord-like sound. Palotta’s own contributions are always apt, whether underscoring the music with pizzicato double bass as he does on Ocre and Evening, spinning out evocative motifs on clarinet on Noctilucas, or bringing in the sounds of the South American Indian flute on Nos salvaron los peces.

Daniel Barbiero

This Week in New York 


The Brass Project includes the New York premieres of pieces by Gabriella Smith, Reena Esmail, and Michael-Thomas Foumai, and the world premiere of a revised version of a piece by Kinan Abou-Afach.
Monday, November 18 at 7:30 PM
Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway, New York, NY

Permutations returns to its original Harlem speakeasy venue for an eclectic set of contemporary works for reed quintet performed by Splinter Reeds. Complimentary cocktails and light bites will be served by their co-presenter, Uptown Spirits, and all ticket proceeds will go towards supporting Splinter Reeds.
Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $15
Uptown Underground, 201 West 113th Street, New York, NY

Conrad Tao performs music by David Lang, Bach, Elliott Carter, Julia Wolfe, Rachmaninoff, Jason Eckardt, and Schumann.
Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 PM
Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 881 7th Avenue, New York, NY

Composer’s Voice presents pianist Matthew McCright performing piano works from a diverse set of living composers: Kirsten Broberg, Kyong Mee Choi, Christopher Coleman, Sean Friar, Dorothy Hindman, Mike McFerron, Ingrid Stölzel, and Robert Voisey. Composer’s Voice showcases the works of living composers and its concert series has premiered over a thousand new works in New York City performed by hundreds of musicians.
Friday, November 22 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $25
Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 881 7th Avenue, New York, NY

The first concert in Lucy Dhegrae’s The Processing Series, More Beautiful Than Words Can Tell, addresses the struggle to articulate an experience after trauma. It features the world premiere of Osnat Netzer’s Philomelos, which explores the “unspeakable” residual effects of trauma through the lens of Shakespeare’s character Lavinia, from Titus Andronicus. This premiere is accompanied by a collection of works that speak to these themes of communicative paralysis and explore the body’s ability to communicate beyond language: Jason Eckardt’s Dithyramb, Bethany Younge’s Her Disappearance, Maria Stankova’s Rapana, Vinko Globokar’s ?Corporel, and Caleb Burhans’s No.
Saturday, November 23 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $25
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Nate Wooley’s Seven Storey Mountain is a seven-part song cycle for large ensemble intended to transmit a state of what Wooley has called “ecstaticism,” or a secular sense of communal emotional release and ecstatic joy tied to the experience of musicians completely engaged in their practice. Named after Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s 1948 autobiography (itself a reference to the mountain of purgatory in Dante’s Inferno), the piece echoes the struggles that led Merton to abandon a life of scholarship for spiritual matters, embracing the elation and eventual peace achieved through failure.
Saturday, November 23 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $10, $7.50 members
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 346 West 20th Street, New York, NY

Hypercube will join forces with composers from ICEBERG New Music for an hour-long pop-up concert featuring music by Drake Andersen, Victor Baez, Stephanie Ann Boyd, Alex Burtzos, Derek Cooper, Will Healy, and Harry Stafylakis.
Saturday, November 23 at 8:30 PM
Tickets $15
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3, 185 Orchard Street, New York, NY

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

David S. Ware Quartet
Théâtre Garonne, 2008 (AUM Fidelity)

Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive
Ragmala: A Garland Of Ragas (Meta Records)

Michael Formanek Very Practical Trio
Even Better (Intakt Records)

Arve Henriksen
The Timeless Nowhere (Rune Grammofon)

Various Artists
New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires (ESP Disk)

Levitation Orchestra
Inexpressible Infinity (Astigmatic Records)

Avram Fefer Quartet
Testament (Clean Feed Records)

RIP Jan Erik Kongshaug

Source: JazzTimes.

Jan Erik Kongshaug, a Norwegian guitarist and sound engineer who was essential in the creation of the legendary “ECM Sound” (or “Rainbow Sound”), died November 5 in Oslo, Norway. He was 75.

Through his work with ECM Records’ Manfred Eicher and at his own Rainbow Studios in Oslo, Kongshaug helped put his country’s jazz music on the map. As of his death, he had been engineer on nearly half of ECM’s catalog, and about one of every six ECM albums was recorded at Rainbow. Among the thousands of credits in his discography were the albums with which Norwegian artists like guitarist Terje Rypdal and saxophonist Jan Garbarek made their breakthroughs. Kongshaug himself was a musician, entering the industry as a session guitarist in 1960s Trondheim. However, he was studying electrical engineering even then, and had long been a jazz fan; he had an intuitive grasp of how acoustic jazz should sound on records.