The Squid's Ear Magazine


Sbatax (Denzler / Gerbal): Spires (Umlaut Records)

A high-intensity free jazz workout from the French duo of tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and drummer Antonin Gerbal, long-time collaborators in their 3rd sax & drum duo album, anticipating each other's gestures to allow them flexibility in creating textural approaches to their dialog, challenging physical limits while subtly progressing their frenzied and arresting playing.
 

Price: $14.95


Quantity:

Out of Stock.

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Sample The Album:





product information:

Personnel:



Bertrand Denzler-tenor saxophone

Antonin Gerbal-drums


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 3341348165851

Label: Umlaut Records
Catalog ID: UMFR-CD43
Squidco Product Code: 33117

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Curved Pitch, in Saint-Ouen, France, on June 24th, 2022.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Under the name SBATAX, Denzler and Gerbal continue their exploration of flow, speed and patterns by exacerbating the sound of their saxophone-drums duo. The furrow they dig ends up forming spirals that gradually migrate towards regions where movement becomes a texture that floats in the wind.

Bertrand Denzler and Antonin Gerbal have been working together since 2011, both as a duo and with bands and projects such as Zoor, Denzler-Gerbal- Dorner, Onceim, Horns+, CCP3 or Protocluster, whose albums have been released by labels such as Umlaut Records, Confront Recordings and Remote Resonator."-Umlaut



"There isn't much that I enjoy more than a really good sax/drums duo, and on "Spires" we get another terrific paradigm from Bertrand Denzler and Antonin Gerbal, now officially recording under the name SBATAX. This was also the title of their previous duo release in 2020, an album we enjoyed so much that it got reviewed by three of us and also featured in our year end lists. This is their third release as a duo - including their 2020 release as well as 2015's Heretofore - and Spires tracks nicely along the arc they set up with those albums, which is to say in the direction of a persistent and quickening dynamism. Aside from the squall they conjure, it's that feel of trajectory to their work that makes them so compelling for me. There's always a sense of something unresolved, something they're striving towards within the tight frameworks they attend to. They consistently propose engaging solutions to their riddles, but the search never feels fully satisfied - nor is it ever fruitless, simply ongoing. It certainly isn't due to a lack of effort. As on their prior release the duo absolutely burns down the house, delivering an impressively physical and engaging performance that is again both visceral and cerebral.

I'll note that this is also the first recording by the duo with multiple tracks, this time they split the work into two roughly twenty minute sections called "Spires" and "Azimuths". Given the intensity of the music, it is nice to have the option of a short reprieve if so desired, but these definitely feel like two halves of a whole. The two tracks are distinct white knuckle affairs - the former builds up a skronking intensity and the latter whips its phrases and rhythms into whirling vortices of sound. Gerbal keeps things going with light, rolling, busy rhythms. Denzler utilizes all the subtlety of a freight train, i.e. immediate high energy. He sketches out simple patterns that are then repeated several times, each with subtle differences in dynamics and/or phrasing. I'm reminded of someone with a ring full of keys trying to escape a rapidly burning building. Each key is tried several times before switching to a new one. Each attempt is more frantic than the one prior. Gerbal is non-stop motion and Denzler likewise takes very few pauses, which results in an acute sense of urgency. The sax mostly sounds in a low, honking register against the crisp, tight percussion and the duo excels at maintaining balance and finding the timbral sweet spot. There are definitely moments of skronk but they never lose control of the proceedings and the power is always focused where they want it to be. It's another excellent release from a really intriguing duo.

Like their previous albums it took me several listens to really get a good feel for what the music is doing because it's a such a whirlwind, and the totality is a lot heavier than the visceral thrill of its white hot flow - so I had to be sure not to miss the forest for the trees. Denzler and Gerbal both collectively and separately continue to produce some of the best music in the modern avant-garde, evidenced by their duo releases as well as their many, sometimes overlapping, projects. On that note Confront just this year released another of Denzler's compositions called " Low Strings " and Gerbal's أحمد [Ahmed] dropped an excellent new 7" late last year. Buy both and listen to them while we wait for their next Protocluster release."-Nick Metzger, The Free Jazz Collective


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"Bertrand Denzler is a tenor saxophone player. He has played in Europe and Latin America both as a solo act and with musicians such as Xavier Charles, Peter Frils Nielsen, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Barry Guy, Ninh Lê Quan, Urs Leimgruber, Günter Müller, Bob Ostertag, Norbert Pfammatter, Hasse Poulsen, Mark Sanders, Mathieu Werchowski, and Otomo Yoshihide. He is a member of the groups Hubbub, Nanocluster, Laps, Denzler-Mariage, A3/1, and Chamaeleo Vulgaris. He has put out a number of compact discs on various labels."-ActuelleCD.com (http://www.actuellecd.com/en/bio/denzler_be/)
6/19/2024

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

"Since the release of File under: Bebop - Peeping Tom in 2009, Antonin Gerbal has developed his own approach of the drums - reinterpreting history of jazz drumming through the prism of european musical improvisation. Improviser, composer, teacher and performer, Antonin Gerbal is associated with the vitality of the Parisian music scene, notably through Umlaut Records. He has performed in Europe, U.S., Russia and Japan, with many original projects such as Nakasanye, Zoor, ISM or Peeping Tom. Involved in large ensembles such as ONCEIM (playing pieces Eliane Radigue or Stephen O'Malley) and Umlaut Big Band (swing dancing band), Antonin Gerbal works regularly with English, German, Swiss and Japanese artists. At the begining of 2016, he releases his solo works called Sound of Drums."

-Antonin Gerbal Website (http://antoningerbal.com/about)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Spires 22:33

2. Azimuths 23:44

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Umlaut Records.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Ahmed (Thomas / Grip / Gerbal / Wright)
Wood Blues [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Astral Spirits)
A rollicking album of hard blues from the أحمد [Ahmed] quartet of Pat Thomas on piano, Joel Grip on double bass, Antonin Gerbal on drums and Seymour Wright on alto saxophone, performing live in 2022 as part of the Counterflows Festival at The Glue Factory in Glasgow, for a hard driving, upbeat performance in front of an enthusiastic audience.
[ism] (Pat Thomas / Joel Grip / Aontonin Gerbal)
Maua
(577 Records)
Recordings from the Berlin club Au Topsi Pohl where the [ism] piano trio of Pat Thomas on piano, Joel Grip on double bass and Antonin Gerbal on drums played 4-nights in a row, May 18-21, 2022, Thomas performing on a Bösendorfer grand piano, creating an omnipresent and precise sound that drove the band to great heights of interactive, warmly diverse playing.
Bosshard, Patricia
Onceim-CoO
(Potlatch)
Bosshard, Patricia
Onceim-CoO
(Potlatch)
Two major works of evolving acoustic soundscape from Swiss violinist & composer Patricia Bosshard realized by the 27-member Orchestra des Nouvelles Creations, which includes Bosshard, Stephane Rives, Bertrand Denzler, &c.; "Sillon" employs a percussive pulse over 27 independently transforming grooves; "Reflets" a harmonic composition for bowed strings, including three double basses.
Umlaut Big Band
Mary's Ideas [2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)
Rare and newly discovered works from jazz composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams performed by the Umlaut Big Band in their series of portraits of forgotten jazz artist, here taking a broad look at the prodigious career of this essential and gifted pianist, composer & arranger, whose influence on swing and early be-bop deserves this fitting and inclusive overview.
Euphorium_freakestra
Grande Casino [3 CDS]
(Euphorium)
A truly diverse set of improvisations, from solo work to large scale ensemble, as Euphorium_Freakestra are joined by European Free Jazz legends, drummer Baby Sommer and double bassist Barry Guy, in a band with leader & pianist Oliver Schwerdt, plus Bertrand Denzler, Burkard Beins, John Eckhardt, Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, Patrick Schanze, Daniel Beilschmidt & Freidrich Kettlitz.
Trio Sowari
Third Issue
(Mikroton Recordings)
Only their 3rd album since 2005, the trio of Phil Durrant (modular and software synthesizers), Bertrand Denzler (tenor saxophone) and Burkhard Beins (percussion and objects) went into the studio in Berlin to record four tracks that bring the distinct skills of each player into focus while accentuating the tremendous concentration and interplay each brings, a real achievement.
Denzler, Bertrand / Antonin Gerbal
Heretofore
(Umlaut Records)
The duo of tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and percussionist Antonin Gerbal, 2/3 of the Zoor trio, in an album of free improvisation contrasting simple and complex sounds, organic and mechanical rhythms while evoking asymmetric, geometric or enigmatic shapes.
Warburton, Dan
Profession Reporter
(Aural Terrains)
Warburton's latest in his Walk Series, using field recordings from Morocco to study the fragile barriers between composition, improvisation, natural, and man-made sound.
Other Recommended Releases:
Novembre (Hoang / Clerc-Renaud / Darrifourcq) + Marc Baron
Encore [2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records)
A fascinatingly structured album conceived by Romain Clerc Renaud and Antonin Tri Hoang, the first CD constructing a complex poetic form made up of multiple themes, from simple (Encore, Petit Matelot) to rapidly complex (LetCo, Klaxon), unfolding in unexpected ways; the 2nd CD restructured in the studio by Marc Baron, transforming the music into seven engrossing electroacoustic compositions.
Naegelen / Gaillard / Arnaud-Cremon / Maisonneuve
Cartographie de rythmes #2 - Cardiaque
(Umlaut Records)
The second part of Umlaut's Cartographie de rythmes, a sound exploration guided by an imaginary map of rhythm, here investigating the relationship between text and music through mysteriously breathing clarinet lines & harmonics by Fabrice Arnaud-Cremon, and patient narration by Julien Gaillard, Karl Naegelen and Aurélie Maisonneuve.
Denzler, Bertrand / Jason Kahn
Translations
(Potlatch)
The seventh release on Potlatch for tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and the first for electronic artist Jason Kahn, in an extended electroacoustic improvisation, Denzler performing his instrument in ways Adolphe Sax did not intend intersected by Kahn's bent and crackly emissions, each increasingly assertive through to a engrossing, exhalable end.
Denzler, Bertrand / Antonin Gerbal
Sbatax
(Umlaut Records)
A burning album of free jazz caught live at Au Topsi Pohl, in Berlin, Germany in 2019 between the long-running duo of tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and drummer Antonin Gerbal, best known for their work in Zoor or Denzler-Gerbal-Dorner, here working an "Interstellar Space" area of strength and energy through intense interaction and cathartic playing.
Denzler / Rodrigues / Moimeme
Immobility and Movement
(Creative Sources)
An exquisite and mysterious album of free improvisation merging acoustic and subtle electroacoustic elements, from the trio of Bertrand Denzler on tenor saxophone, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola and Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar & objects, recording in the studio for this extensive work in four parts that transitions between moments of transfixing sound and cautious motion.
Seen, The
For Sake Of Joy Of Study Of Oneself Together
(Confront)
Inspired by a work by John Stevens from 1991, Mark Wastell developed this work merging narration and improvisation by transcribing the text from Steven's performance, preseanted here by an electroacoustic ensemble including Phil Durrant, Dominic Lash, Bertrand Denzler, Jennifer Allum &c, yielding an enveloping and fascinatingly mysterious piece presented in two versions.
Denzler, Bertrand
Arc
(Potlatch)
Created by Felicie Bazelaire, CoO is a string ensemble drawn from the French new music ensemble ONCEIM; CoO develops new repertoire for strings, collaborating with composers like Bertrand Denzler, who wrote this innovative composition "Arc" in two parts, a work applying unusual techniques to bowed strings, particularly lower bass tones, for fascinating results.
Umlaut Big Band
Plays Don Redman: The King Of Bungle Bar
(Umlaut Records)
Don Redman was an American big band leader popular in the 1930's, responsible for work on animations, sound tracks, and recordings of pre-swing hot jazz arrangements of popular tunes; here the French Umlaut Big Band under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux pays homage to his music in rich orchestration showing the melodic, inventive, and complexities of Redman's music.
Denzler / Grip / Johansson
Zyklus 1 [2 CDs]
(Umlaut Records / SAJ)
Exploring new ways of interplay within a classic jazz trio setting, "Zyklus 1" or "Cycle 1" is the 3rd album from the trio of Bertrand Denzler on tenor saxophone, Joel Grip on double bass, and Sven on Ake Johansson on drums, a double CD + poster of four improvisations that reference "Time" through masterful technique and superb collective free jazz.
Gerbal, Antonin
Sound Of Drums
(Umlaut Records)
An absorbing album of solo drum work from French drummer/percussionist Antonin Gerbal, recording in the studio and demonstrating his profound sonic and technical approaches to the drums, isolated from projects like Peeping Tom, Bertrand Denzler/ONCEIM or Zoor.
Zoor
Volumes A + B
(Umlaut Records)
The French trio of saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, guitarist Jean-Sebastien Mariage and drummer Antonin Gerbal in two extended works beginning and ending on a sustained plateau while maintaining a constant state of anticipatory suspense using no electronics, treatments or effects.
Peeping Tom (Dorner / Badaroux / Grip / Gerbal)
Boperation
(Umlaut Records)
The Boperation quartet of Axel Dorner (trumpet), Pierre-Anotoine Badaroux (sax), Joel Grip (bass), and Antonin Gerbal (drums) apply modern playing techniques to the original compositions of bepop artists including Herbie Nichols, Jackie McLean, Fats Navarro, &c.
Hubbub
Whobub [2 CDs]
(Matchless)
A double CD by the French free improvising ensemble Hubbub recording live in 2010: CD1 in concert at Festival Muzzix, La Malterie, Lille; CD2 at Carre Bleu, Poitiers.



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Allochtone
Plait-il?
(Tour de Bras)
Organized by Miriodor drummer & composer Remi Leclerc, this experimental group features Canadian & European improvisers in a creative session with a sense of novelty and humor, from Pianist Andre Pelletier (Saint-Pascal), accordionist Robin Servant and guitarist Olivier D'Amours (Rimouski), bassist Alexandre Dubuc (Montreal) and saxophonist Cathy Heyden (Paris).
Remote Viewers, The
This Strange Place
(Remote Viewers)
Continuing the sense of film noir and consummate conceptual compositions, Dave Pett's Remote Viewers ensemble of four saxophones--Adrian Northover, Sue Lynch, Caroline Kraabel & David Petts--and the powerful and often drum-like double bass of John Edwards, continue their journey in this strange place with 10 new solidly crepuscular and complex works.
Threadgill, Henry Ensemble
The Other One
(Pi Recordings)
Composed by Henry Threadgill based on his observations of the exodus of people from New York City during the Covid pandemic and the debris left behind, this work titled "Valence" and dedicated to percussionist Milford Graves, is a chamber jazz piece in three movements was taken from recordings at Roulette of the second of two performances entitled "One" and "The Other One".
Howard, Noah Quartet To
At Judson Hall Revisited
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Saxophonist Noah Howard's move from New Orleans to New York City brought him into the circle of early 60's free jazz players including Albert Ayler, joining Sun Ra's Arkestra, and performing at Slug's Saloon; this release reissues two ESP albums, his working band's 1966 Quartet album, and the extended and interestingly orchestrated sextet album, At Judson Hall.



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC