dark forces |cs195








































In general, Portuguese label Creative Sources releases free improvisation and contemporary music from little-known musicians and composers. In that regard, Alon Nechushtan fits the bill, here with an hour-long composition. However, the mostly acoustic ensemble (eleven players: winds, strings, two electric guitars, no percussion) performing his work is a surprising New-York all-star orchestra. Among others: Mark Dresser, Steve Swell, Ned Rothenberg, Robert Dick, Briggan Krause, Henry Kaiser, and Elliott Sharp! In a score that leaves a lot of room to improvisation, though still a well-defined framework. An intense record. I will have to revisit in a more focused state of mind, because there’s a lot of depth to this material. François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

The first time I've tasted the talent of this proteiform NY-based Israeli pianist and composer - and in this capacity he could boast of some compositions written for important "academic" ensembles such as Bob Brookmeyer's New England Conservatory Jazz Composers Big Band, Fred Harris' MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and the BMI Orchestra - on a release marked by Zorn's Tzadik Records as a founder of a klemer jazz quintet called Talat. His talent as a "musical scenographer" was not so evident, but it was clearer that he gave a remarkable proof of rethinking the syncretism, which already belongs to that particular kind of music, born from a fusion of different musical traditions (mainly Polish, Russian, Romani and Moldovan), known by Ashkenazic Jews during their wanderings over Eastern Europe, which, so it seems, had an important role for the development of some American jazz branches, when that tradition was transplanted in the USA by some Yiddish-speaking immigrants. Mine should not be just considered a scholarly remark, as you will easily notice that some rhythmic and melodic structures of that tradition - particularly in the "scores" for Mark Dresser's double bass, Nate Wooley's trumpet and Okkyung Lee's cello - sound like one of the most audible filler mixed with other elements in this black pudding sliced in ten parts, being the other elements some tricks taken from experimental electronics, improvisational, ambient, ritual and concrete music and even tribalism - the moments where this element sounds clearer such as in the fourth or sixth track are my favorite ones of the whole recording -. Someone could argue that such an ensemble could outshine individual skills, but I'm pretty sure that each of 11 musicians with their rich sonic stores, including two electric guitars, one double bass, one trombone, one alto saxophone, a baritone one, one cello, one tuba, one bass clarinet, one bass flute, one trumpet, involved in this obscure work will be satisfied of the highly visionary opalescence their choral performance aimed to highline a property of music, more than a concept, managed to reach thanks to Alon Nechushtan direction as the listeners will easily acknowledge. Vito Camarretta (Chain DLK)

Neuf mouvements en tension extrême, parcourus de forces obscures et rougeoyantes, qui font émerger par masses lentes et graves des phénomènes sonores hérissés de possibles, aux irisations inquiétantes : respirations saturées, grincements de portes, larsens, bruits de lames de couteaux, scintillements métalliques presque cristallins, étirements de tracés lumineux aux formes mystérieuses, glissandi de cordes scabreux, rires…

Neuf métamorphoses formidablement orchestrées et interprétées par onze musiciens (cuivres, bois, contrebasse et deux guitares électriques jouées par Henry Kaiser et Elliott Sharp), qui déploient des morphologies ambigües, comme électronisées, évoquant par jeux de latence successifs, des sons environnementaux – la mer, le vent, un oiseau –, un bestiaire fantastique, tout une jungle, selon d’étranges processus d’involution et d’évolution, de défiguration et de refiguration. Samuel Lequette (Le Son du Grisli)

Dark Forces is an electro-acoustic mix by composer Alon Nechushtan with a cast of downtown allstars, including Swell, Elliott Sharp and Briggan Krauss. It sounds like the traffic of heavenly bodies, or spacecraft - but spacecraft with teak and mahogany details. The composition works like fractals, with each instrumentalist recapitulating the spacey theme in their own parts, which are also remarkable for their restraint and episodes of silence. This is another quality of Swell’s own playing; he knows when to lay out and then come in gently for an aggressive, passionate team energy. Here that energy is mellow and trippy and as soon as take us into the solar system may bring us into a drum ring of an aboriginal village. Swell’s own contributions here are often in the peripheries, but crucial, adding bolts of energy in key places sometimes with as little as a raspberry through the mouthpiece. Swell is not about technical exhibition, but whatever works in the musical moment. Gordon Marshall (The New York City Jazz Record)

Segue-se uma autêntica pérola do catálogo da editora lisboeta: "Dark Forces", de Alon Nechushtan. Este surge como compositor (já lhe chamaram «cenógrafo musical»), mas é de presumir que toda a parte electrónica do álbum seja também de sua responsabilidade (em trabalho de pós-produção? é difícil de perceber…), apesar de isso não ser indicado. O ensemble que interpreta a sua música é uma lista do "who's who" do jazz criativo e da livre-improvisação da actualidade, pelo que se pode concluir que as partituras que concebeu tinham abertura suficiente para interessar a estes instrumentistas. São eles Mark Dresser, Steve Swell, Greg Raskin, Ned Rothenberg, Robert Dick, Marcus Rojas, Nate Wooley, Okkyung Lee, Briggan Krauss, Henry Kaiser e Elliott Sharp, nomes sobejamente conhecidos pelos leitores desta revista. O que aqui vem é uma música de câmara alienígena, parecendo vir de um lugar distante e envolto em névoa. Em suma, um CD absolutamente fascinante. Rui Eduardo Paes