Thursday, June 14, 2018

Angles 3 - Parede (Clean Feed, 2018)

Angles 3 is the stripped down trio version of the great medium sized modern jazz bands Angles 8 and Angles 9 who have put out some of the best progressive jazz of the past several years. This version of the group consists of Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, Kjell Nordeson on drums and percussion and Martin Kuchen on tenor and soprano saxophone. It adds up to a stellar album that was recorded live in Parede, Portugal during November of 2016. They distill the essence of their music from American free jazz and European free improvisation, leveraging ferocious playing with snatches of bop like themes delivered with passion and grace. "Equity and Death (Mothers, Fathers, Where Are Ye)" opens the album with bass and drums developing a foundational beat, with the saxophone probing at the edges as the group gathers strength and inertia. The trio builds to an exciting and scouring brand of free improvisation, with dynamic shifts and crushing cymbal beats. This leads the band back to cruising speed, like a fine motor building velocity through gear shifts. The raw and rending tenor saxophone that Kuchen achieves is arresting and adds a deeply compelling feeling to the band's performance. "Satan in Plain Clothes" has a Håker Flaten solo bass opening that is patient and well articulated, with the tenor saxophone and drums diving in, keeping things fresh, as the rhythm section and ripe saxophone develop a powerful collective improvisation. They build from a medium tempo to a loud roar, with yelps of encouragement to take things ever higher. The rolling drums and imperturbable bass bring the noise as the saxophonist briefly lays out before returning for a mighty conclusion. The epic near twenty-three minute track "Francisco / By Way of Deception" has thick waves of high intensity trio improvisation pushing forth, being totally in the moment, as Kuchen switches to soprano saxophone changing the nature of the improvisation as he gains a personal pinched sound for an unaccompanied solo section followed by a grand exploration of space and time by the full trio. This is very exciting as the soprano saxophone carves a narrow twisting path through the broad bass and drums. The rhythm section pummels mercilessly in a thrilling manner before dropping into a towering trio conclusion. The concluding track is "Don't Ruin Me / Love Flee Thy House (In Breslau)" which is a sprawling seventeen minute masterwork where the low and subtly playing bass and drums catch fire and begin to burn with rough hewn saxophone adding fuel to the fire. They build a dynamic loud / soft way of playing that is very effective in ramping up the tension, leading to another very effective bass solo, and stick the landing with a high powered trio improvisation proving a vehement conclusion to this wonderful live album. Parede -

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