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Williams, Mars / Vasco Trilla: Spiracle (Not Two)

A truly unique duo album of sax and drums from Chicago reedist Mars Williams and Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla, using their immense technical skills to pivot reflective and meditative playing around exuberant free jazz spirit, maintaining a sense of journey and sonic introspection through unusual and extended technique; a beautifully balanced album.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Mars Williams-reeds, toy instruments

Vasco Trilla-drums, percussion


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UPC: 5906395187676

Label: Not Two
Catalog ID: MW 1007-2
Squidco Product Code: 29806

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Thriller Underground Facilities, in Barcelona, Spain, on May 15th 2019, by Rafael Lopez and Lopinski

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Both American reedman Mars Williams and Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla show themselves well grounded in the duet configuration, although this appears to be only Williams' second documented encounter in the sole company of a drummer. For Trilla, the situation is more normal. His track record embraces pairings with a wide array of wind instrumentalists (as well as brass and strings), including Mikolaj Trzaska, Martin Kuchen and Yedo Gibson.

Although they hail from different backgrounds as well as continents-Williams also plays with rock band Psychedelic Furs and acid jazz outfit Liquid Soul, as well as power trios with Paal Nilssen-Love and had tenure in the early Vandermark 5 and Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, while Trilla's pedigree lies in European improv engagements-the empathy in evidence throughout this Barcelona studio date from May 2019 speaks of a solid connection.

One of the most resourceful of European percussionists, Trilla displays a sophisticated and controlled mastery of timbre and pitch, particularly at low volume. Williams meanwhile possesses all the tools of the post-Albert Ayler saxophonist: a diverse vocabulary of non-tempered screeches, plosive quacks, reverberating multiphonics, and circular breathed squalls, delivered with energy and musicality.

Anyone seeking the wailing reeds and roiling drums which might be expected from any no-holds-barred meeting between saxophone and drums in the free jazz arena, won't be disappointed, especially by the closing "Haemolymph." But to their credit Williams and Trilla don't go for the jugular all the time, also exploring a broad range of alternative gambits across the five cuts. They demonstrate a fine grasp of dynamics and sonority in the opening "Book Lung," which builds to a bristling boil from a quiet cymbal hum, before a short decrescendo of breathy yelps and barely struck surfaces.

A similar trajectory underlies "Valve," though the soundscape is very different as Trilla majors on a low level but almost continuous drone from percussive devices which could even pass as electronics. Williams judiciously deploys various implements including squeaky toys, wood flutes and thumb piano as part of a textural carpet. Even when he shifts to reeds he makes a minimalist contribution of carefully calibrated overtones, climaxing with his pure toned squeals blending with Trilla's bowed cymbals. Unconventional sounds also arise in "Atlas Moth," shaped initially into a more conversational exchange albeit one which culminates in a ranting stream.

But not everything happens at the extremes. On an unaccompanied intro to "Stigma" Williams tempers his avant tendencies with an extemporized melody which bears some similarities, conscious or otherwise, to Brötzmann's "Master Of A Small House" line. Finally, a sustained cry heralds Trilla's entry in pulsing polyrhythmic mood, which once again sets up the anticipated intense finale. Such is its sweep and success, this album could serve as a primer for the format. "-John Sharpe, All About Jazz



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies

"Mars Williams is an open-minded musician, composer and educator who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Massacre, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys and virtually every leading figure of Chicago's and New York City's "downtown" scene.

John Zorn credits Mars as "one of the true saxophone players--someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. This tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays. Whatever the situation, Mars plays exciting music. In many ways he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player."

In 2001 Mars received a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Record with his group Liquid Soul.

Despite his busy touring schedule with Liquid Soul and The Psychedelic Furs, Mars manages to stay active on the Chicago underground improvising scene. In recent years he has toured and recorded with the Peter Brötzmann Tentet, Switchback, Full Blast, Scorch Trio, the Vandermark 5, Boneshaker, Chicago Reed Quartet and Cinghiale, teaming him with such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, William Parker, Ikue Mori, Kent Kessler, Fredric Lonberg Holm, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ab Baars, Mike Reed, Jeb Bishop, Harrison Bankhead, Dave Rempis, Kidd Jordan and Matts Gustafson.

He performs weekly in Chicago along with Jim Baker, Steve Hunt, and Brian Sandstrom in the improvising quartet "Extraordinary Popular Delusions". As a bandleader, he continues to perform and record CDs with his own free-jazz groups, the NRG Ensemble, Witches & Devils, Slam, XmarsX, Mars Trio, Boneshaker and The Soul Sonic Sirkus which features improvising musicians and aerial circus performers. Along with Die Warsau's Van Christie, Mars has started Ratking Music, a production company focusing on music for film and television.

In addition to performing and creating music, Mars has been an educator in the field of woodwinds and jazz improvisation for over thirty years. Mars held the position of Woodwind Instructor at Bard College for two years. In the last few years Mars has presented Master classes and clinics to a number of private and public institutions including, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL), and June Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art (Auburn, AL)."

-Mars Williams Website (http://www.marswilliams.com/about/)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Barcelona, Vasco Trilla started playing drums at the age of nineteen. His first influences were progressive rock and metal, but gradually he developed an interest in a variety of different genres such as jazz, Indian music, African music, klezmer, free improvisation, etc.

Since then he has collaborated, toured and recorded with many different bands and projects such as Boi Akih (an ethno-jazz band from the Netherlands), Planeta Imaginario (progressive jazz-rock) October Equus (avant-rock), The Oddvisers (pop-avant), Fine! (indie pop-rock), Mundo Flotante (ethno-jazz-rock), Kaulakau/Cobla Sant Jordi (an ethno-jazz Catalan orchestra), Filthy Habits Ensemble (a jazz octet playing Zappa's and Stravinsky's repertoire), Cows On Trees (a jazz-improv quartet with Susana Santos Silva and Kaja Draksler), Balimonster (an impro-ethno duo with Angel Ontalva), Yedo Gibson-Vasco Trilla duo (an improv sax & drums duo), Outerzone (jazz-core), Reptilian Mambo (mambo free rock), Liba's Traum, etc.

In the last years he has been playing and experimenting on the free-improv scene, applying extended techniques to the kit and treating it as a textural-melodic instrument. Blowing, bowing, scratching, playing with hands and all kinds of objects, all is valid to expand the vocabulary of this innovative percussionist. He played with improvisers, such as: Lotte Anker, Marshall Allen, Yedo Gibson, Susana Santos Silva, Kaja Draksler, Jasper Stadhouders, Mikloaj Trzaska, Martin Kuchen, Richard Barrett, Jorma Tapio, Christher Bothen, Marc Stucki, Luc Ex. etc...

He has released around 30 CDs in labels such as Cuneiform Records (USA), Altrock Records (Italy), Leo Records (UK) Discordian Records (Barcelona, Spain), Audition Records (Mexico), El Negocito Records (Belgium), Jacc Records (Portugal), Fmr Records (UK)."

-Vasco Trilla Website (http://vascotrilla.com/)
6/12/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Book Lung 15:17

2. Stigma 8:01

3. Atlas Moth 7:03

4. Valve 15:12

5. Haemolymph 7:39

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Percussion & Drums
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Duo Recordings

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Not Two.


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