Monday, August 15, 2011

Undivided: Moves Between Clouds

Undivided (group)
Moves Between Clouds (MultiKulti; 2011)
Klaus Kugel (drums)
Perry Robinson (clarinet)
Waclaw Zimpel (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Bobby Few (piano)
Mark Tokar (bass)

This is a fascinating live recording. One that should be listened to at night to get the full experience. Undivided is a collective born from the mind of clarinetist, Waclaw Zimpel, who has worked with Ken Vandermark, Robert Kusiolek and Aram Shelton to name a few.

On first listen you may automatically get the feeling of late 60's free jazz floating throughout the pieces. But as you continue to absorb the music you will grasp hold of the experiments that quintet are reaching for on their second release, Moves Between Clouds (MultiKulti Records). It reminds of when hard bop began its transition towards free jazz. There's still shadows of expressive melody but there is more of an introspective quality to the music that is rich and rewarding.

With three long tracks the audience and you the listener get a much more in-depth experimentation in sound than the rolling epic of their debut, The Passion. As with late Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre and even some Donald Byrd records of the time period, Moves Between Clouds has a spiritual and almost folkish element to it.

The addition of Perry Robinson to the quartet gives this live recording it's cultural feel. The title track bares this out. "Moves Between Clouds" has Robinson and Zimpel sharing and intertwining passages. Few's playing underlines the contemplative nature of the piece. It's a slow, droning number that only hits heavy notes when Tokar and Kugel raise the pulse (only slightly) keeping the listeners sense of adventure engaged.

Moves Between Clouds is blissful and hypnotic in its delivery. Few's repetitive tones are matched by Robinson and Zimpel beautiful rising arpeggios on both "Hoping The Morning Sky" and the closing number "What A Big Quiet Noise". Kugel as always makes an impact with crisp and exploratory timing.Undivided have presented one of those solid live performances that you wish you were in the audience that night. Thankfully the date was recorded and we can all experience it. Excellent stuff.

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