Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blaise Siwula, Nobu Stowe and Ray Sage - Brooklyn Moments (Konnex, 2006)

Subtitled "Total Improvisation Unit," this album presents a five part suite simultaneously composed and improvised by Blaise Siwula on alto and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet and flute, Nobu Stowe on piano and Ray Sage on drums. The music has a very immediate visceral appeal, as all three musicians are really focused on creating music in the moment. "Part I" starts at a medium and probing tempo, then develops quickly to full bodied and very strong collective improvisation. "Part II" features thoughtful mid-tempo bass clarinet with piano and drums, probing and seeking. The music picks up to a fast skittish piano - drums interlude. Siwula's saxophone enters with free and wildly cacophonous free trio jazz developing to a frantic and exciting pace. Ripe piano and drums open "Part III," before saxophone builds in, deep and strong, gradually becoming more intense, increasing the tempo in a potent fashion, reaching high and searching. The music evolves to a lusty collective improvisation, centered around scalding, paint stripping saxophone. "Part IV" opens with a drum solo, soon joined by piano, probing against flute accents, before switching to switch to low quick witted bass clarinet. Well controlled and quite supple, Siwula glides over a lush and intricate carpet of piano. Back to saxophone, the music turns caustic, and Stowe's piano keeps encouraging the music deeper into the unknown. Free improvisation for trio follows, fast and wild. Drums lay out for fast piano & sax duet section before coming back for the big finish. "Part V" segues in from the previous performance, where pounding piano and drums plum depths while sax soars overhead. Slows to medium tempo to celebrate a hard won victory, sounding melodic with a tough lyricism. This album was very exciting to listen to, all three members of the group were clearly focused on the same goal, even though they were creating their music in real time. Brooklyn Moments -

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