Two works for clarinet (Jeremiah Cymerman), cello (Christopher Hoffmann) and drums (Brian Chase), building dark intertwining structures that create the illusion of electronics out of acoustics sources in a phantasmal and encompassing audio journey.
Cymerman, Jeremiah / Christopher Hoffmann / Brian Chase
Label: 5049 Records
Released in: USA
"The real killer album is without a doubt the newest one - "Pale Horse", with Cymerman on clarinets, Christopher Hoffmann on cello and Brian Chase on drums.
The trio weaves long horizontal tones through each other. The one note is vibrating, changing color and timbre, strangely being flexed somehow, getting more resonance and echo from the other instrument. Other horizontal lines follow, shift, mix, disappear, and reappear, slightly altered, modified, ....
The effect is stunning. The effect is dramatic. Never has music sounded more desolate than this. The most worrying thing is that it sounds human. It sounds like - again - inner voices emphasising something deep and universal, but without escape, without a chance of resolution or redemption or salvation or .... It is at the same time deep underground and high in the sky, it is about deep internal emotions and about a great sense of space.
Cymerman drives his vision to extremes here, more minimal maybe, but not really, because the sounds can be dense and rich at moments, with sudden dramatic explosions of sound, increasing levels of intensity and tension, gradually building up expectations of a change, of a release, which doesn't come, which doesn't come .... until ... until ... This was the first track, called "Dancer".
The second track, "Ghost", starts with the barely audible, with all three instruments electronically modified into layers of low-volume repetitive patterns, again with the dark and low rumbling bass tones adding the most amazing effect, ...then intensity increases with cello and clarinet sawing the same note maddeningly, and not only the intensity, but also the volume - which in the meantime you had already turned much higher to hear what's going in the silent part - creating a stark contrast. Then strangely, the instruments get a kind of normality, with the cello sounding like a cello, the clarinet playing some phrases as if a chamber ensemble had emerged, and you think something is improving, something is changing for the better, something is emerging out of the darkness, out of this dark cesspool of angst and fear ... and then everything goes quiet .... and your expectations are shattered again.
The strongest aspect of this album is that Cymerman, Hoffmann and Chase manage to create a universe, that - although desolate and built up around a monotonal core - is at the same time full of surprises, of little things happening under the surface, of shifts of focus between instruments, of sudden changes that remain unexpected, yet without altering the overall line of sound, keeping things tightly under control and coherent, while at the same time really driving something deep into the listener's being. And it's really the latter that counts. Deep into the listener's being."-Freejazzblog.org
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Label: 5049 Records
Catalog ID: 5049-002
Squidco Product Code: 18747
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1. Dancer 21:45
2. Ghost 16:28