Michiel Braam - "Michiel vs. Braam"
[Bik Bent Braam, www.toondist.nl]

Klaas Hekman - "Yolo"
[Strotbrock, www.toondist.nl]

Peter Kowald - "Silence and Flies Live at Nigglmuhle"
[Free Elephant, www.free-elephant.de]

Solo records are an art form in themselves. This is a scenario where the musician has to prove the program they're putting across is worth our time. No back-up or accompanying cast means the job is that much harder for the solo performer.

Almost as in a fox-trot, Michiel Braam emphasizes the melodic side on his solo CD "Michiel vs. Braam". Dutch pianist, Braam is probably best known for his big-band project Bik Bent Braam and for the trio BraamdeJoodeVatcher [their "Monk Materials" CD on BVHaast comes highly recommended]. All of the compositions on his second solo CD have been previously released, though it's revealing to hear them in their stripped down versions. He takes his music very seriously and his compositions take priority as all lead sheets are published in the CD booklet. The pieces' pacing is fast-as-lightning. This man goes through changes at extreme speeds. Though some of the themes and ideas in the pieces may be short-lived, none of them seem underdeveloped. His delivery is clean but in places it tends to get somewhat dry and limiting. What I lack somehow is the improvisational side of this musician. He can improvise with some of the best, which is odd that he sticks so closely to his written material. Is he afraid to step out of the box and exhibit total freedom?

To be honest, there are only a handful of jazz musicians who are brave enough to pick up the bass saxophone in their career among those are Peter Brotzmann, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton. Dutch musician Klaas Hekman is not interested in cacophony of the bass sax per se. His aim is to put across the rich and warm beauty of his chosen instrument. Whether it's John Tchicai's [incidentally, Hekman is a member of the Six Winds ensemble with Tchicai], Umezu Kazutoki's material or his own compositions that he's performing, the main ingredient is warmth. The power of the bass sax is tremendous. Anyone who has seen this instrument being played live will attest to its massive force. While someone like Peter Brotzmann can devastate and manipulate the instrument to his own needs, Klaas prefers to underplay. Sure there are moments such as "Water", where we feel the obscene power of this instrument as Klaas belts out some mighty gale winds. [Klaas has showed the potent power of his horn on previous occasions, such as Intermission 3 bass + 1 bass sax quartet.] However, large chunk of this CD is quite melodic and almost serene. One of my favourite pieces is "Four threehorns", where Lou Mallozzi recites some off-the-wall scribes between Hekman's wildly poetic lines. Just to show off his skill, Klaas takes a short flute interlude on "As a flute", which is fairly tender in itself.

Don't fear the bass sax. Sure, it has colossal power, but it doesn't bite.One musician who has never had any difficulty in telling intricate stories on his double bass was Peter Kowald. In a conversation, he once said, "Solo is a good school. One can formulate something alone, without the help of anyone. The process is not determined by others. Solo makes you independent." Sure enough, Kowald was a towering figure that stood and watched proud as his bass skills have blossomed in multitude of variations over the more than three decades of intense labour. The 70 minute tour de force, "Silence and Flies" [recorded almost exactly a year prior to Kowald's untimely death] is another example of the story-telling he taught us to treasure over the years. Peter caresses his bass into submission, getting almost an orchestral feel. As he scrapes his bow across the strings, slowly his story comes to life. There is conflict, much abrasion and finally, a resolution, where his story climaxes. In sections, his bass sounds like a drone instrument, slowly weaving us into a dream-like state, while on other occasions, he captivates as his bass is talking in an almost human language.

"Silence and Flies" stands as testament that Peter Kowald was one gifted performer whose passing came too soon.

Tom Sekowski


<<< poprzednia recenzja następna recenzja >>>
 

RECENZJE

+ Job Karma - Strike
+ Eliane Radigue - Songs of Milarepa
+ Bird Show - Green Inferno
+ Acid Mothers Temple - SWR
+ Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U. F. O. - Minstrel in the Galaxy
+ Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U. F. O. - Does the Cosmic Shepherd Dream of Electric Tapirs?
+ Peepol/Ludzie - Proffesioneller Klang + LIVE in Porgy and Bess
+ Tatsuya Yoshida / Kazuhisa Uchihashi - Hercules Icy Club
+ Ziyo - Popburger
+ Ethnica Music Project - Fairy Wood
+ Hellveto - Medieval Scream
+ Slavland - Szepty Starych Dębów
+ 4 Women No Cry – Vol.1
+ Barbara Morgenstern & Robert Lippok - Tesri
+ Superpitcher - Today
+ Starzy Singers - Takie jest c'est la vie
+ Jacen Solo - Virgo
+ Boy Robot - Rotten Cocktails
+ Putsch'79 - Arpeggio Life
+ Poker Flat Vol. 4
+ Phrizzm - EP
+ Studio Pankow - Linienbusse
+ The Otherfuckers - 23:59
+ Monolake - Polygon_Cities
+ Maetrik - Casi Profundo
+ Kissogram - The Secret Life Of Captain Ferber
+ Natural Dread Killaz - Naturalnie
+ Kid & Khan - Bad English
+ Fischerspooner - Odyssey
+ DSN - Raise This Flap
+ Dijf Sanders - Swamp Boulevard
+ Christ. - Seeing And Doing
+ Chica Disco Vol. 3
+ Adriano Canzian - Pornography
+ Burka Band - Burka Blue
+ Bton - 4th Floor
+ Boy From Brazil - Pointless Shoes
+ Atom TM - Acid Evolution 1988 – 2003
+ O - Kantamoinen

- - - - - - - - -

+ Kapela Ze Wsi Warszawa [Warsaw Village Band] - Hopsasa
+ Jamie Lidell - Multiply
+ Andrea Neumann / Michael Renkel / Olaf Rupp / Serge Baghdassarians - Berlin Strings
+ Taylor Deupree + Kenneth Kirschner - Post_Piano 2
+ David Eliott Incigneri - I Sat on the Corner of a Page of the Novel of My Mind; Mieli - Version; Comatone - E-50
+ Alexander Von Schlippenbach - Monk's Casino The Complete Works of Thelonious Monk
+ Marek - It's These Magic Moments That I'm Living For; Aber Das Leben Lebt - Perfect Teen; David Lipp - In immer: Love; Gelee Royale - Wir Schiessen Nicht Daneben
+ STS9 - Artifact; Seasons 01
+ V/A - Fork Ends; V/A - Lib. Fabric Compilation; V/A - Fairy World II; V/A - Kung Fu! Reggae vs. The Martial Arts; V/A - PSF & Alchemy 20th Anniversary Live
+ Ian Boddy / Bernhard Wostheinrich - Moiré; 302 Acid - Even Calls; Infinite Scale - Sound Sensor; Rhian Sheenan - Paradigm Shift
>> Michiel Braam - Michiel vs. Braam; Klaas Hekman - Yolo; Peter Kowald - Silence and Flies Live at Nigglmuhle
+ Ween - Live in Chicago
+ Marc Ribot - Spiritual Unity
+ Fred Frith - Eleventh Hour
+ Movement Incorporated - Movement Incorporated
+ Bron Y Aur - Quien Sabe?; Anatrofobia - Tesa Musica Marginale; Gianni Gebbia / Lukas Ligeti / Massimo Pupillo - The Williamsburg Sonatas
+ Daniele D'agaro - Chicago Overtones; David Liebman & Ellery Eskelin - Different But The Same
+ Jewels And Binoculars - The Music of Bob Dylan; Floater; V/A - Is it Rolling Bob? A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Odbiłem się od dna - rozmowa z Maćkiem Werkiem
+ Fotorelacja z koncertu Projektu Karpaty Magiczne
+ Przegląd najnowszych pozycji z katalogu mik.musik