Re:Sound Festival Reviewed

Source: Cleveland Classical.

Many of the sounds heard at the Re:Sound New Music Festival performances at the Bop Stop and CODA on Saturday, June 9 were reminiscent of noises made by ‘90s computers and played on old science fiction space TV shows. Relying heavily on electronics and other sound-manipulation techniques, each artist or group gave festivalgoers a taste of their music in a series of increasingly strange and interesting pieces.

AMN Reviews: This Is It! – 1538 [Libra Records 203-049]; Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda / Gianni Mimmo – Triad [Long Song Records LSRCD142/2018]

In October of this year Japanese pianist/composer Satoko Fujii will celebrate her 60th birthday; to mark the occasion she’s decided to release one CD per month for 2018. Two of these releases, each featuring Fujii in a trio setting, are a testament to the diversity of her musical interests and her willingness to take risks at the initiation of what in Japan is celebrated as a new, auspicious stage of life.

The first trio is This Is It!, an ensemble consisting of Fujii along with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and percussionist Takashi Itani. The three have played together for about five years, originally as a quartet with bassist Todd Nicholson and later alone as a trio. For the album 1538—named for the melting point of iron in degrees Celsius—the group improvises around six of Fujii’s compositions. The composed sections are more than just expedient launching points for improvisation—often of very high-energy; they’re compelling in themselves. Fujii frequently writes complex, convoluted melodies across multiple time signatures. It’s very demanding material to play, but play it Tamura and Itani do, and with a tight cohesion. The trio’s unusual instrumentation of trumpet, drums and piano gives the sound an aggressive edge that is perfectly adapted to Fujii’s jagged, stop-and-start lines.

The second trio consists of American double bassist Joe Fonda and Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo. Unlike the standing trio with Tamura and Itani, this trio was put together for the occasion. Fujii and Fonda have a longstanding musical relationship, but Mimmo was a new factor. The set of improvisations was recorded in Milan on 9 October 2017, Fujii’s 59th birthday and the day after the three had played a concert—the latter being the first time they’d played together as a trio. One wouldn’t know it from listening to the music, which coheres as a tight fusion of compatible sensibilities. The three seem to share a sense of improvisation’s ability to trace a quasi-narrative cycle, which here takes the form of a long-term oscillation, consisting in waves of expressionistic intensity dissolving into introspective duets or solos. All five pieces, including the forty-minute-long Birthday Girl, show a remarkable attention to structure; the playing is in the moment, as is all good free improvisation, but every moment also seems to anticipate not only what the next moment will be, but what, given the current state of things, it should be. Fujii is an intuitive pianist who seems to approach improvisation with a composer’s sensitivity; she can fill audio space with cascades of sound or can allow ample breathing room with sparser, quasi-premeditated pitch collections. Mimmo—who was an inspired choice for making the Fujii-Fonda duo a trio–plays with characteristically refined lyricism leavened by timbral experimentation at the edges; his finely etched lines never lose definition, even at extremes of volumes and speed. Fonda’s forceful and often percussive voice provides a solid foundation; even in this free context he conserves the bass’s traditional function as anchor. Occasionally he switches to wood flute, which makes for a surprising, and surprisingly engaging, color contrast.

Daniel Barbiero

AMN Picks of the Week: Matthew Lux / The End / Tunnels of Ah / Dark Ages / Vinny Golia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Matthew Lux’s Communication Arts Quartet – Contra/Fact (2018)
The End – Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen (2018)
Tunnels of Ah – Charnel Transmissions (2018)
Dark Ages – Dark Ages (2018)
Vinny Golia – Trajectory (2018)

This Week in New York


Tuesday, June 26 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $25
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, June 28 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $29
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, June 28 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $55
92nd Street Y, Buttenwieser Hall, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 PM
$15 suggested donation
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

Theirs (Cuneiform Records)

Ab Baars
And She Speaks – A Collection Of Ballads (Wig)

Christy Doran
Undercurrent – Live at Theater Gutersloh (Intuition)

William Parker
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics (Gotta Let It Out)

Jamie Saft Quartet
Blue Dream (RareNoiseRecords)

Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda / Gianni Mimmo
Triad (Long Song Records)

Dave Rempis/ Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs
Empty Castles (Aerophonic Records)

Chad Taylor
Myths and Morals (ears&eyes Records)

The Rempis / Daisy Duo & Guests
Dodecahedron (Aerophonic Records)

Anthony Braxton Quartet
(Willisau) 1991 Studio (Hatology)

This Is It!
1538 (Libra Records)