the eco logic | cs129
tonight, but glad the week is over as far as work is concerned. Sunday,
and hopefully also Monday I’ll be in London to catch Taku Unami
play, which is always a pleasure, so a good weekend ahead if I’m
not so tired as to sleep right through it. Today I have been listening
to a new CD sent to me by Kim Johannesen. a young Norwegian improviser,
who appears on this disc as half of a duo with fellow countryman saxophonist
and clarinetist Svein Magnus Furu. The CD is named The Eco Logic and is
recently out on Creative Sources.
Kim Johannesen and clarinetist Svein Magus Furu travel far beyond the
borders of jazz on this release. The music they create here would certainly
be more at home in the side room of an art exhibit than a jazz club; it
defies the traditional reliance on interacting tonalities and relies almost
completely on texture.
Em trio com o baterista Tore Sandbakken, os noruegueses Kim Johannesen (guitarras) e Svein Magnus Furu (saxofone, clarinete) tocam um jazz mais formal e alicerçado sobre o ritmo e a melodia, não muito distante do do trio de Paul Motian com Bill Frisell e Joe Lovano. Em duo, encontram a liberdade necessária a um investimento abstracto, de certo modo alinhado com o reducionismo, mas preferindo neste a lógica textural à interiorização do modelo "near silence". Fazem-no, até, revelando um sentido de musicalidade que muitas vezes está ausente desta corrente da mais radical improvisação livre. Sem dúvida, intrigante. Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)
While the periodic use of motorized appliances on the guitar by Kim Johannesen vaguely recalls the work of Keith Rowe, these two Norwegian musicians also present a broad spectrum of timbres and settings that demonstrate individual character and humour, all deriving from the same sources – guitar, sax and clarinet – yet quite polymorphic in terms of their capricious dynamics and in-depth investigations of particular combinations of altered tones. Furu is a clever reedist, not the least interested in the umpteenth adaptation of subtly hissing emptiness, willing instead to let those pitches be heard, sometimes very loud: certain juxtapositions of extensive quaking honks with the scraped jangle emitted by Johannesen's tormented strings are impressively vicious if listened to at serious volume. The association between Furu’s sputtered quacks and Johannesen’s humid fingers rubbing the wood also brings remarkable results in a who-did-what kind of argument usually ending in a nod of approval. An intelligent record throughout. Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)
Another guitar plus saxophone duo, just a while ago I've reviewed Rocco-Coxhill and now this nordic pair, beyond the remote possibly also this nordic couple has an avant jazz background I can't see any other similarity. Infact Johannesen and Furu are more contemporary classic oriented in their way of playing and these compositions somehow can be classified that way. The first track opens with what effectively sounds as a long circular drone crossed by some electro-acoustic sounds, a simple idea you may think, but in terms of length they bring this track to a point where they start disgregatin' everything before the end. If one may think that's another ordinary drone driven release the second episode presents a dissonant post Bailey-an impro with a strong intensity and the same idea is repeated here and there in several tracks before the end (tip of hat!). Despite some electro acoustic sketches that's not exactly their cup of tea, therefore when they go for a duo in unison you can bet the proceed shoulder to shoulder. They close the whole narration by returning to a long uniform sound droning even if slightly if compared to the first track, and I think thaat's a wise decision to cerate an interesting tracklist. What I've really appreciated about this cd is the fact differently from many scandinavian improvisers they avoid that repetitive unsound-playing going firmly from pointillism to well played angular notes. Interesting work. Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)
The worlds of free improvisation and Noise (with a capital N) are both rich traditions, by now, but they are often kept more separate than they should be. Put them both in a city large enough, for example, and things can get a little clique-y. The folks playing tabletop guitar, twisting knobs on a patch-cord-laden mixer, or blasting homebrew circuitry out of an old PA often eschew the improv shows and their connections to jazz; meanwhile the sometimes ponderous drones and harsh sounds of Noise shows can seem anathema to the focus on instrumental craft and control that often excite the improv crowd. Groups that bridge this divide, like the magnificent Konk Pack, are more rare than they should be.
What an exciting surprise, then, to discover the pairing of Johannesen and Furu, who seem to have their feet firmly placed in both traditions. The opening track, "Room to grow (vegetables)" smacks of the Noise aesthetic: Johannesen's guitar, vibrated and scraped into an undulating machine, sets up the "no rhythm" rhythm of the piece; meanwhile Furu breathes Houtkamp-like overtones into his saxophone. Yet — and here is the improv side of it — the piece avoids the preciousness of some Noise playing, with all its skittishness about making sounds that stand out against the wall of sound. Though centered on drones, this track has phrases. It is mostly about exploring timbres and masses of sound, and Johannesen and Furu do so exquisitely.
Then — boom — "Jack and the beanstalk" begins, and we are fully immersed in European-style free improvisation. The piece would fit nicely on a recording of Derek Bailey in duo with Anthony Braxton, Tony Coe, or Alex Ward. Furu's clarinet plays contemplative, atonal lines as Johannesen clangs and chimes along in the interstices. Though the interplay interesting in its own right, the piece seems almost an homage to that era of playing.
As far as free improvisation goes, the originality and skill of this duo comes out in bolder relief on "Microkosmos." It is a game of split seconds and splintered tones. Johannesen bows his guitar and Furu gives his saxophone a thorough tongue-lashing. This time the attack of the instruments is a bit more up to date, the techniques more extended. But what stands out about the piece is the sheer intuitiveness of the interactions. The two transcend easy call and response interplay, and a web of enmeshed sounds emerges.
The most compelling pieces, though, are the ones that seem to lie between to these two "genres," such as they are, of Noise and improv. "Ants Marching," for example, begins as a thumb wrestling match of extended techniques until Johannsen begins attacking the guitar with vibration devices (e.g. an ebow). At that stage the players seem to coalesce into a single complex machine, whirring and snoring to itself, a fascinating transformation and a great track. Wyman Brantley (The Squid's Ear)
Ce disque est fait de 7 morceaux qui sont de deux "sources" distinctes : pour une moitié des morceaux fait de matières sonores plutôt éloignées de la notion de "notes de musiques" et l’autre qui est plutôt faite de celles-ci.