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Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs014
Squidco Product Code: 4451
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded 12/12/003 at Tonstudio Hrólfur Vagnsson
Birgit Ulher trumpet
Martin Kuchen soprano saxophone, baritone saxophones, selected mutes, pocket radio/ Lise-Lott Norelius live-electronics
Raymond Strid percussion
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European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
descriptions, reviews, &c.
"Listening to Tidszon (Creative Sources) is a bit like playing those Metronome All-Stars sessions from the late 1940s, when Miles Davis and Fats Navarro sat next to one another in the trumpet section one year, and when Dizzy Gillespie was the sole trumpeter the next. That's because with Birgit Ulher you can hear representations of the sort of brass evolution Davis, Navarro, and Gillespie were attempting in their time. Plus, to confirm the all-star sobriquet a little further, Ulher is joined by multi-reedman Martin Küchen.
In his way, Stockholm's Küchen is as revolutionary in his approach as Metronome's reed winners—Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz—were in their day. Furthermore, UNSK is propelled by inventive Swedish drummer Raymond Strid. His work with ensembles as different as Barry Guy's New Orchestra and a trio with British bassist Tony Wren and Küchen proves that his adaptability is on the same level as that of Shelly Manne and Max Roach, the All-Stars of the late 1940s, was in their epoch.
You can't take the metaphor too far, however. There was no category in the 1940s for the live-electronics and objects that Swede Lise-Lott Norelius brings to UNSK.
First of all, push the timbres of conventional instruments out of your inner ear when listening. The soundscape is completely different. Start with UNSK as well. Every so often you'll hear Strid advancing the odd press roll, Ulher playing some chromatic runs and Küchen trilling and tongue-slapping—techniques as old as the instruments themselves. Still, the sounds here are definitely post-jazz mixed with contemporary composition—which is partially Norelius' background anyhow.A track such as "AZODT", for instance, includes plastic penny-whistle-like squeals, the resonation of traps kit movement along the floor, and sniffs and aviary cheeps from live electronics. At one point, signals from the electronics reconfigure the reed output with a cello-like tone, then unidentified scratches and scrapes are brought forward in percussion clip-clops, solid, brassy tones, and reed tongue-stops.Trumpeter Ulher, who has also worked with British drummer Roger Turner and Swiss live-electronics experimenter Ernst Thoma, brings a lyrical bent to her solos in tunes like "HOVT". Overall, though, save for some muted and very internal plunger work, her chief strategy is pushing pure unaccented air from the mouthpiece to the bell, usually without valve reliance. On this track, it's done over tongue-slaps plus reed drones from the saxophonist, peeps and bell-like resonation from the drummer, and an undertow of looping electronics.
Küchen, who also plays with Exploding Customer, a Swedish Free Jazz quartet, mutes any ecstatic exhibitionism here. Raspy growls join fluttering electronic signals from Norelius, plus cymbals and snare abrasions from Strid's possible use of knitting needles for drumsticks. Later, a mechanized buzz is interrupted by metallic pressure from a saxophone's body tube, then shrill reed trills complement bubbly electronic rotations. Strid doesn't time keep per se, but instead ratchets and smacks items that sound as if they range from a plastic water pail to aluminum pie plates, while speedily pitter-pattering on the snare and ride cymbal. He also uses subtle snare manipulation and a quick martial drum roll to redirect pulsating electronic oscillations, brass mouthpiece tongue-kisses, and serpentine reed trills into consequential movement.
Tidszon's climax is the final track where high-pitched pulsation from the buzzing electronics, including what sound like ray gun discharges, make space for the others' output. Their textures include pressurized muting of the sax bell against a pants' leg, rampaging brass tones, and cymbal rattles and taps as well as strokes on what is probably a plastic version of a wood block.Younger musicians in the main, the quartet on Tidszon is still in the midst of experimentation and discovery. Try either of this session on for size if you want to witness the results."-Ken Waxman (One Final Note)