Born in 2013, the trio of trombonist Samuel Blaser, guitarist Marc Ducret and drummer Peter Bruun is finally on record after five years of committed live activities. That this concert actually happened was in itself a noteworthy event, Blaser having undergone a bicycle accident three days prior that left him with a broken rib. There's no stopping the flow of a focused improviser, though; thus, the four tracks of Taktlos Zürich 2017 confirm the old Albert Ayler axiom according to which music is a universal healing force.
Slowly but steadily, the trombone has gained a reputation in the improvising circles as an instrument of exceptional flexibility, at once dictating uncustomary paths through the impulsiveness of a given moment's interplay and reinforcing the textural mass as few other timbres can do. Blaser incarnates an ideal representative, merging calmness, humor and precision in an incisive style. Moreover, he's not afraid of challenging himself: how many players would dream of filling compositional interstices by, of all people, Igor Stravinsky? This is what happens in the rendition of "Fanfare For A New Theatre", an intelligent homage to a veritable giant.
Both the lengthy opener "Stoppage" and the closing "How To Lose" were conceived by Ducret. In his liner notes, Derek Taylor hints to "occasional and erroneous comparisons to Pat Metheny" in regard to the Frenchman's method, indeed as distant a comparison from the Wichita superstar as one can think. Ducret's proposals reflect an inwardness replete with contractions and expansions, constantly oscillating between clean and distorted tones, extended pitches alternated with cocky clusters and jagged rhythms. He and Blaser find themselves with eyes closed, the unique communion of awareness typical of instrumentalists trained for the unknown. Bruun —less famous but equally talented — acts like a drumming coordinator gifted with a splendid ear for timbre, besides the obvious command shown by his demeanor. Serious pleasure is felt when hearing the resonance of those skins while savoring the fruits of an interaction that needs no labeling whatsoever.
Finding a disappointing hatOLOGY release nowadays translates as "mission impossible". Here's hoping that our failure to do so continues for a long time.
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