.AAA. Live |cs255









Trois solos puis un trio : le 25 octobre 2012 à Munich, Andreas Willers, Achim Kaufmann et Axel Dörner, inauguraient ensemble un projet à initiales : .AAA. Le disque ne respecte cependant pas l’ordre du programme donné ce soir-là : on y entend en effet le trio avant les trois solos.

La chronique, elle, ne respectera pas l’ordre du disque. Sur la deuxième piste, Willers donc, seul : le guitariste cherche un peu, hésite beaucoup, peine enfin à tirer parti des possibilités que lui offraient feedback et écho. Seul au piano, Kaufmann bavarde ensuite : s’il offre beaucoup à entendre, il y a dans ces huit minutes trop d’agitation, de remuage. Seul à la trompette, Dörner fait alors état de sa science musicale parallèle : ses souffles inventent bel et bien et, en tube, n’oseront qu’une note – mais laquelle : sirène insistante dont s’emparera le trio.

A son tour, alors. Malgré la trompette – qui invente, insiste, tire à elle l’improvisation sans pouvoir non plus imaginer pour trois –, la demi-heure de séquences improvisées qu’il débite, mises bout à bout, aura du mal à retenir longtemps l’auditeur. Pas assez en tout cas pour l’empêcher de retourner à un autre projet à initiales qui jadis anima Dörner : AD, pour tout dire. Guillaume Belhomme (Le Son du Grisli)

.AAA. est un trio qui réunit Axel Dörner (trompette), Andreas Willers (guitare & électronique) et Achim Kaufmann (piano). Quatre pièces d'improvisation libre énergique toujours, fortement axée sur les techniques étendues et les préparations. Le trio propose une longue pièce où chaque musicien est présent pour une performance colorée, rythmée et puissante. Une improvisation vraiment puissante et dense, proche de la noise, mais sans électronique (ou très peu). Attaques très fortes à la trompette, souffles harsh, guitare déconstruite, piano à clou sont de la partie pour une longue improvisation jamais à bout de souffle. Puis ensuite, c'est au tour de chacun des musiciens de présenter un solo. Le premier est une pièce d'Andreas Willers pour guitare acoustique, puis viennent Achim Kaufmann et Axel Dörner. C'est toujours une bonne occasion de présenter son langage en-dehors de la collaboration afin de mieux comprendre l'interaction et l'influence de chacun des musiciens. Tous possèdent un sens fort de la recherche acoustique et de la puissance sonore, et ça vaut le coup surtout de les entendre ensemble. Une belle collaboration intense, forte, et puissante d'improvisation libre. Julien Héraud (ImprovSphere)

[…] on this album, all the improvisations contain the word "Rat" (counsel, council). The trio, with Dörner on trumpet, Andreas Willers on acoustic guitar and electronics, and Achim Kaufmann on piano, is actually only playing together on the first track, a thirty-six minute long exploration of sonic possibilities of this line-up.

From the very beginning, a tension is created that is so continually profound and deep that it is begging us to hope for relief. The sounds are minimal yet delivered with careful power, even when Dörner's trumpet offers only high pressure soundless blowing, or monotone extended single notes, it does something to the listener's neurological system, and it is the same with Willers industrial sonic excursions on his horizontally played acoustic guitar, and Kaufmann's muted strings on the prepared piano. If the previous albums reviewed here, are stylistic exercises, with a somewhat detached emotional component, this album does the exact opposite. There is no style, there are no references, just raw sounds, bouncing, sawing, tearing, piercing or weeping, strangely enough managing to create something coherent, something deeply resonating and touching. Unknown but not alien.

The second piece, "Inraten", is Andreas Willers solo, and the result is even more minimal, alternating between dry acoustic sounds and electronic white noise. "Entraten", the third track is a solo piano improvisation, and in sharp contrast from what we know from Kaufmann, he can contain his lyrical natural style reducing it to a level of maximal abstraction and restraint, well, really only until the second part of the track, when the dryness is suddenly changed by a sprinkling of refreshing rain coming out of the keyboard, a moment of joy before the more silent approach takes over again.

"Aufraten", the closing track, is an eleven-minute solo trumpet piece, on which Dörner offers us a wide recital of grunts, growls, whispers, suppressed blowing and silence. Until a little over halfway the piece, there is a sudden sound of real trumpet, a little moaning.

A weird universe, for sure. And a great album, if only for the first piece played as a trio. The solo parts are good, and please consider them as bonuses to the album. Stef (FreeJazz)

A fine performance recorded in October 2012 and presented in reverse order: first a 36-minute trio improvisation, followed by a 10-minute solo from each musician. This is European-style free improvisation with a tendancy toward microsonics. Dörner leaves a lot of room to silence and breathing in his solo feature. Willers (acoustic guitar, electronics) is a lot less Spartan and actually comes close to the jazz idiom at times. The trio piece is interesting throughout and offers a convincing synthesis of individualities. François Couture (Monsieur Delire)

[…] Taking free form as their starting point, the German improvisers who make up .AAA come up with nothing as concrete as a melody on the instant composition “Denotationstrat” which at 36 minutes take up the largest chuck of this live CD; the three shorter tracks are a chance for each man to express himself in a solo context. As on the French session, trumpet, played by Axel Dörner, and piano from Achim Kaufmann are both represented. Rather than drums though, the third part of this triangle is Andreas Willers, who plays acoustic guitar and electronics. Charter members of Berlin’s unadorned Echtzeitmusik scene, each musician here also has experience playing vigorous Free Jazz. However the focus of “Denotationstrat” is on scene-setting and tensile textures not story telling. Kaufmann and Willers supply the physicality with a percussiveness that arrives from melding sharp, squeaky chordal tones. Additionally, electronic pulses wriggle and hiss as a secondary ostinato; never in the foreground, but always present. Meantime Dörner’s distinctive exposition is segmented among crying lip flutters plus air forced through the horn’s body tube. Occasionally his narrative intersects with orderly chord sequences from Kaufmann or positioned strums from Willers, but mostly the interaction is like that of solitary sentries on a disputed border: self-sufficient, but able to join with the others in a split-second. Vividly, but maintaining an understated narrative, the three reach a zenith of unrestricted pressurize on the final sequence as blurry guitar flanges, buzzing brass vibrations and solid key pumps overlap then dissolve, creating noticeable respite and a precise ending.
[…] Although there may be some who feel each of the trio members here could have let himself go a little bit more with some sloppy frenzy, that’s like criticizing a cat for not acting like a lion. Each session is an appropriate summation of how to create up-to-date brass-centred improvisations. Ken Waxman (JazzWord)