NY saxophonist and pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee meets Turkish free-improv group konstruKt, who have collaborated with Evan Parker, Marshall Allen and Peter Brotzmann, for these fascinating improvisations mixing jazz, traditional instrumentation, and electronics.
Konstrukt & Joe McPhee
Released in: USA
"Turkish free-improv group konstruKt was formed in 2008 by Umut Çaglar, Korhan Futaci, Özün Usta, and Korhan Argüden; since their inception, they've gained notice through their collaborations with such old-guard stalwarts as Evan Parker, Marshall Allen and Peter Brotzmann. The latter introduced them to the legendary Joe McPhee at the Krakow Jazz Autumn festival, and after striking up a friendship, they invited him to join them in Istanbul for a concert in March of 2014. Babylon was recorded the day after he arrived, with no prior rehearsal or discussion, although the seamless meshing could fool anyone into thinking that they were a longtime working group. The music itself is a melding of free jazz and electronics, swinging from space-raga improv to soaring, full-throated anthemic melodies; some sort of Joe Meek jazz world where bird squeal falsettos pierce through a current of drums, only to struggle for breath, come up laughing, and take off far above. McPhee says, "These guys are the real deal," and he should know."-Roaratorio
"When Joe McPhee recorded Nation Time in 1970, a guy who looked like him didn't have to try hard to get clobbered in the streets of the USA on the taxpayer's dime. In The Wire 354, Umut Çaglar of the Turkish quartet konstruKt told Daniel Spicer about the unity of musicians and protesters against police brutality and heavy-handed, government-imposed cultural repression in Istanbul. Across the decades, free jazz and the freedom fight have linked arms again and again. The shared spirit of resistance may have helped them to find common find ground during their first concert together, which is documented by this LP.
The record has its share of tumultuous moments. On "Simple Question - Complex Answers," saxophonist Korhan Futaci uses looming organ chords, much like Miles Davis used to conduct musicians on his mid-1970s albums, as a backdrop for hyper-vocalised cries that project anguish and a bit of hysteria. Then McPhee steps up with his tenor to deliver coarse, rippling lines, and for a moment it's like a mash-up of Agharta and Archie Shepp's Fire Music. Intimations of street battle make an appearance on "Tek'e" -- the Turkish word for a billy goat -- when a siren-like theremin plows through some traditional folk stylings played on a cura (a small, two-stringed baglama) like a cop car scattering protesters; an ensuing duet by the saxophonists sounds like a lament for those who have been clubbed down. But the moments when the players sound most engaged come on "Involution," where McPhee's shift to squelchy pocket trumpet voicings enables him to join with the quartet's restless blipscape rather than simply sail over it." - Bill Meyer, The Wire
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Catalog ID: ROAR 034LP
Squidco Product Code: 19537
Recorded live at Babylon in Istanbul, Turkey on March 18th, 2014 by Ozan Murat.
Joe McPhee-tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet
Korhan Futaci-tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, voice, Moog theremin
Umut Caglar-Micromoog, electric organ, guitar
Ozun Usta-acoustic bass, upright bass, Cura
Korhan Arguden-drums, old K Zildjian cymbals
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1. Flyswatter 10:32
2. Simples Questions/Complex Answers 11:10
1. Involution 12:20 2. Tek'e 10:27