Mar 4 2017
Recommended: Ben Zucker – “Confluere”
It’s pretty easy to forget that Confluere is a combination of multiple performances. Actually, perhaps it would be more accurate to consider it a connection of performances. Because even though the new release from Ben Zucker is compiled from a series of solo improvised performances over the course of a month, the cohesiveness that results from an extremely fluid environment is more than a little bit remarkable. Apparently there wasn’t much studio manipulation going on here… Zucker simply laid down one performance atop the other. And yet the endpoints of each performance snapped perfectly into place with its siblings, and it’s why the entire recording comes off as one long creative exhalation.
Zucker utilizes an array of melodic and rhythmic devices in his performances, which is why the end result is a work rich with the detail and nuance of an ensemble session. Thankfully, however, the intimate nature of a solo performance isn’t lost when Zucker makes it all come together as one. This is music situated at the peaceful end of the spectrum. There’s plenty of activity and nothing about this music will get it slotted in an ambient drone playlist, but there’s an immensely contemplative nature to this music, and that quality alone is produced with sufficient strength to result in music made perfect for quiet moments in quiet rooms.
Your album personnel: Ben Zucker (trumpet, vibraphone, marimba, drums, percussion, piano).
Released on Not Art Records.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Oakland, CA.
Available at: Bandcamp
Mar 5 2017
Recommended: Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra – “Holothuria”
Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra enters music states that approximate chamber jazz, free improv, minimalism, classical, psych-rock and even an updated spiritual jazz choir project, but, ultimately, the large ensemble keeps things sufficiently in avant-garde territory that, really, there’s no adequate way to encapsulate the sonic experience with a genre tag, no matter how specific it may be tailored to a particular sonic expression. This is music that is constantly in flux. Tracks like “Encounter With a Mollusk” and “Organic Matter” firm up that position with pieces that transition between focused and fuzzy, dissonance and dissolve.
Some tracks express a more cohesive vision. The driven intensity of “Submarine Volcano” balances a volatile instability with a simple melodicism. And the way that the bare elements of a melody are given dynamic textures one layer after the next reveals the depth at the heart of “Sölid Particles.” And the bursts of rhythm and choir on “Supercritical Mass” are compelling for their individuality and their unity.
Definitely something different here, and all of it is fascinating.
Your album personnel: Hada Benedito (artistic direction, composition, soundpainting), Charlotte Barnett (voice), Bianca G. (voice), Makiho Yoshida (violin), Penelope Gkika (violin), Davide Lorenzon (alto sax, bass clarinet), Federico Eterno (alto sax, clarinet), Jonathan Lindhorst (tenor sax), Dominic Sell (electric guitar), Bob Meanza (electronics), Kriton Beyer (harmonium, objects), Rieko Okuda (piano), Adam Goodwin (double bass), Antti Virtaranta (double bass) and Adrian David Krok (drums).
Released on Aut Records.
Listen to more of the album on the label’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Berlin, Germany.
Available at: Bandcamp
By davesumner • Jazz Recommendations, Jazz Recommendations - 2016 releases • 0