Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sonore: Live At Cafe Oto

Sonore (trio)
Live at Cafe Oto (Trost; 2012)
Peter Brotzmann (tenor, alto sax, clarinet, taragato)
Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, clarinet)
Mats Gustafsson (baritone sax)

When this trio gets together you can always expect high decibels and sonic architecture. Live at Cafe Oto is probably the shorter but most palatable of the four albums this trio has recorded. There's still a lot to digest over the span of four songs  in just under 40 minutes.

Each musician attacks the notes with aggression but also a sense of beauty, as they softly create and destroy patterns. "Fragments For An Endgame" comes swirling down upon you like hail drops through a funnel. The tones are sharp and crisp with spikes that build and build. They hit there peak quickly before descending further into a overpowering arpeggio.  The trio is all the while improvising each note. But these three have played together so often they know each other movements and changes down to a tie.

"Le Chien Perdu" see Brotzmann rip through the scales at will. The piece has a perfect balance between Brotzmann's howls and improvised segues accompanied by subtle tones of Vandermark and Gustafsson around the edges. "Oto" is just sheer fire in the well. The trio let loose a wall of sound but shift effortless back and forth between blistering chords changes and gentle swathes of harmonics. Only to end with a resounding joyful call to arms, New Orleans style.

Live At Cafe Oto is powerful stuff and by far the best Sonore record to date. Highly Recommend.

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