Sunday, December 09, 2012

Richard Bliwas Trio - Nine (Rising Rose, 2012)

This is an interesting group that adds flourishes of electronics to flesh out their open ended jazz improvisations. The group consists of Richard Bliwas on piano and electronics, Daniel Carter on tenor saxophone, Bruce Ditmas on drums and bass and Ned Goold sitting in on tenor saxophone. Much of the music is medium tempoed and atmospheric, with some touches of shimmering electronics. Carter plays with great control, developing whispery, breathy saxophone sounds over percussive piano and drums. The music often finds itself shifting in mid performance to incorporate a palette of electronics. An example of this is the dark hewn organ synth in the background with the remainder of the band in the foreground making "Must to Crust" slightly disorienting, as sound reverberates across a series of funhouse mirrors. The dynamics exist between Bliwas's faster, almost hyperactive piano with Carter's slow laconic saxophone hazily drifting overhead. It is the tension in the push and pull between these two musicians that gives the music much of its power. "The Stirring" has fractured rhythmic piano and saxophone that weaves in and out of the phases of the music pulling back as the piano surges forward.  Followed by a section of squiggling electronics and drums. This is music that encourages further exploration. It's fascinating to hear Daniel Carter, who is usually thought of as a bastion of the free jazz scene, playing with such slow and pronounced articulation and the electronics also offer further avenues for improvisation as they are well incorporated int the texture of the music as a whole. Nine -

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