Friday, December 28, 2018

Martin Blume - Frames and Terrains (No Business, 2018)

This is an exciting and well articulated freely improvised collaboration between Martin Blume on drums and percussion, Tobias Delius on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Achim Kaufmann on piano and Dieter Manderscheid on bass. The album was recorded in June on 2016 in Cologne, Germany and begins with "Frames and Terrains Part 1" which opens with a probing collective improvisation amongst the players, with deeply earthy saxophone following shimmering piano which prances and pounces as the intensity of the performance grows. The solo section for keyboard is stellar, with lush chords and sparkling notes, sending the bass and drums scurrying back in, followed by the saxophone. There is a portion of eerie bowed bass and subtle saxophone, leading to a level of abstraction that interweaves interesting percussion, spacious smears and growls, picking up the pace and adding complexity before dropping back and using dynamic control also adding a lonely bowed bass solo that is laced with haunted beauty. Rending tenor saxophone and fluttering percussion open "Frames and Terrains Part 2," then adding piano chords and elastic bass to achieve a full quartet improvisation. Raw saxophone and dark piano evoke dark storms on the horizons, and the rippling piano speeds up and all of the instruments bob to the surface in the course of an enticing free for all. Ratcheting down to near silence, the group explores the nature of sound in open space, with feathery percussion, stretching bass and curls of clarinet. Spare droplets of piano notes grow in size and shape as the the band's improvisation shape shifts once again, moving into a rapid and exciting piano, bass and drums trio section, of all out improvisation, soon joined by the saxophone, keeping the urgent pace and clarifying the nature of the music. The full band purrs along nicely playing a fast collective improvisation at a moderate volume to an impressive conclusion. Frames and Terrains - No Business Records.

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