Reconstituting their usual string-centric improvisations to encompass more vigorous instruments Portuguese violist Ernesto Rodrigues and his son, cellist Guilherme Rodrigues improvise throughout this disc alongside Portuguese reed player Gonçalo Mortágua and legendary German percussionist Gunter "Baby" Sommer. While Mortágua, who usually plays in an Afro-soul band, creates thin flute peeps and tenor sax split tones, and minimalist swipes are familiar from Rodrigues' literally hundreds of lower case sessions. Sommer, now 80, projects the power and playfulness he has excelled in since the early 1970s.
But the percussionist never dominates. His only extended solo is on the penultimate "Untitled", where his vocal whoops introduce a compendium of ruffs, ratamacues and cymbal smashes that abut string shrieks and altissimo reed squawks. That doesn't mean Sommer isn't busy augmenting textures on the other tracks though. If he isn't rubbing drum tops or smacking wooden blocks, he's adding paradiddles and rebounds, bell pealing or twanging a Jew's harp. That last interjection is heard on "Invocacao", where it breaks up a dense exposition with strings stretched and staccato rubbing across fingerboards and flute trills leading to layered evolution. The cellist later adds double bass-like pulses and Mortágua, on tenor, harsh split tones. This transformation from micro to macro ends with a single cymbal ping.
Strategies like that brighten most interactions. Extended techniques from the strings include stretching timbres to encompass spiccato squeaks, steadily thinning slices and forceful scrubs. At points they divide with Ernesto's playing approaching melodicism while Guilherme slaps rhythmically. With a full husky tone, the saxophonist honks, tongue stops and uses finger vibrations. Or he climaxes an introduction of lacerating string slices on "Seide, Samt Und Kashmir" with expanding spetrofluctuation and cuckoo-clock like echoes until drum shuffles neutralize the narrative.
Obviously mis-titled, the improvisations and excitement engendered on this disc are more than Not Bad. Instead the description should be Very Good or perhaps Excellent.
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