New From HatHut Records

Coming soon from HatHut:

New releases November 2007 – February 2008

hat(now)ART 170
Makrokosmos Quartet
Total time 71:34, DDD, Barcode: 752156017028
The idea of an ensemble composed of pianos and percussion instruments first came about in Stravinsky’s The Wedding. Shortly thereafter, Bartok, who frequently emphasized the percussive aspect of the piano, developed this idea in his orchestral works (Piano Concerto No. 1, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta). In his 1937 Sonata for two pianos and percussion, he established a new instrumental archetype which was taken up by subsequent composers, such as the ones represented in this recording. However, for these composers, it isn’t so much the rhythmic and dynamic elements which link the piano to the various percussion instruments, as was the case for Stravinsky and Bartok, but rather the full range of sound possibilities—the set of different colors—provoking the idea of a fusion between the two entities. One of the characteristics of the huge diversity of percussion instruments that have been adopted from around the world during the past hundred or so years, is indeed the extraordinary variety of specific tonal qualities, in which the kinds of attacks and resonances—the way sounds appear, resonate, and disappear—play an important part. The works of Crumb, Gervasoni, and Haas are built upon such a range of sounds requiring new arrangements and new ways of articulation. Each work has its own range of colors which constitutes the basic material of the composition. Far from the intrinsic structures which reached their peak in serialism, the organization of pitches is here subsumed by the originality and combination of sounds as such. The acoustic quality as a structural and sensitive element is not produced exclusively by a combination of pitches whatever the complexity, but by a very thorough analysis of sound and dynamics. In Makrokosmos, George Crumb uses archaic modal structures and tonal music quotes, which also can be found in Georg Friedrich Haas’ second piece, where tonal chords seem to be lost and found objects. — Philippe Albera

hatOLOGY 641
Steve Lantner Trio
What You Can Throw
Total time 55:18, DDD, Barcode: 752156064121
I’m still surprised when I hear new jazz, and Steve Lantner plays it, reconstituting and reinventing the tradition. First hearing this trio, you’ll be struck by its sheer kinetic joy, its ability to swing and to drive in ways that are central to jazz, without simply repeating some specific events in that tradition. The opening of Joe Morris’s New Routine has a collective lope rarely achieved, an off-hand and offkilter movement that is immediate and reaches across time. — Stuart Broomer

hatOLOGY 646
Theo Jörgensmann & Oles´ Brothers
Alchemia
Total time 57:58, DDD, Barcode: 752156064626
Perhaps surprisingly for a conceptualist like Jörgensmann, «straightahead» jazzers Tony Scott and Buddy De Franco now seem even more relevant to our updated perception of Alchemia. Both were powerful clarinetists who brought idiosyncratic phrasing and a harmonic bite to solos that balanced on the cusp of freedom. The most impressive aspect of Alchemia, to my ears, is the trio’s ecstatic, elastic freedom of line and design. Fluid internal tempo changes create spontaneous shapes and intensify momentum, as the three push up against and out of alignment with each other. In moments of nearly transparent texture, their lines hover and revolve like figures in a Calder mobile, but as energy levels rise they thicken and tumble in responsive friction. In the manner of Scott and De Franco, Jörgensmann employs remarkable speed, facility, and inventiveness to escape the suggestion of bar lines as indications of time, while avoiding bop clichés attached to the implied harmonies. Alchemia is aptly titled—the process of transforming something common into something precious is audible in every choice, every gesture, every move the trio makes. — Art Lange

hatOLOGY 653
Daniel Levin Quartet
Blurry
Total time 59:49, DDD, Barcode: 752156065326
For anyone hearing the Daniel Levin Quartet for the first time, there’s apt to be a dual response, a sense of something at once familiar and very different, a sound in which chamber music sonorities promise an unexpected emotional possibility, an invocation of something lost that is also an intimation of what is to come. The cumulative effect of the quartet’s music is particularly vivid, as if its vocabulary of precise timbres is gleaned from the density of our past listening, as if high frequencies previously consumed by cymbals have been restored to us. It seems to operate on a principle of exchange in which all those things formerly adjudged hot and cool in the jazz tradition have temporarily traded identities. — Stuart Broomer