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McPhee, Joe / Mette Rasmussen / Dennis Tyfus: Oblique Strategies [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

An unrestrained album of free jazz, unorthodox electronic excursions and vocal irascibility as legendary tenor saxophonist Joe McPhee joins the Bazuinschal duo of alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and percussionist & electronic manipulator Dennis Tyfus (Ultra Eczema) for this singularly unusual 2018 concert at Het Bos, in Antwerp, Belgium; magnificently indescribable!
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Joe McPhee-tenor saxophone, voice

Mette Rasmussen-alto saxophone, voice, objects

Dennis Tyfus-tape, percussion, voice


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UPC: 4250101452802

Label: Black Truffle
Catalog ID: BT 105LP
Squidco Product Code: 33504

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Australia
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Het Bos, in Antwerp, Belgium, in August, 2018, by Koen Vandenhoudt.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Free jazz legend Joe McPhee is heard in a wild trio setting recorded in Antwerp in 2018 in the company of Mette Rasmussen's fire-breathing alto saxophone and Dennis Tyfus's post-Fluxus antics on tape, voice, and percussion. Rasmussen and Tyfus have previously recorded together as Bazuinschal, and some similar strategies are on display here: mysterious metallic scrapes, extended tones in which voice and sax become indistinguishable, comic explosions of varispeed tape. With McPhee on board, however, proceedings are more sumptuous, with the two horns moving fluidly from expeditions into the extremes of their instruments' registers to pointillistic note-splatter and Ayler-esque folk melodies; we even get to bask in some of the slow-motion free blues that McPhee has now been playing for half a century.

McPhee is heard primarily on tenor, Rasmussen mainly on alto, but with Rasmussen doubling on sundry objects, and the whole trio contributing vocals, certainty about who is doing what becomes nigh impossible. The recording and production add to this hazy unclarity. Where much contemporary improvised music aims at dryly clinical hi-fi, the lively reverberant space of Oblique Strategies calls to mind the less-than-pristine sonics of classic free jazz artefacts like John Tchicai's Afrodisiaca or McPhee's own Underground Railroad. A further dimension of oblique unpredictability is added by subtle changes in the sense of space: at times merely a reverb tail glimpsed between phrases, at other points the whole mix seems to be momentarily swallowed up in slap-back, blurring the lines between acoustic instruments and the decayed fidelity of Tyfus' tape playback.

Spread across four pieces ranging from four to nineteen minutes in length, Oblique Strategies moves with anarchic swagger from explosions of clattering cymbals and bellowing horns to near-silent episodes of mysterious rumble and clunk. 'Death or Dinner?' opens the record with a lovely duet of climbing melodic patterns shared between the two saxophones, played with a buzzing oboe-like tone. A long, wavering note sung by Tyfus cues the first of countless changes of direction, eventually leading to a crescendo of watery splutters and duelling saxes. At points Tyfus' keening resemble the signature moves of his friend and collaborator, Ghédelia Tazartès; at others, his tape-sped huffs and puffs possess a rawness reminiscent of Henri Chopin or Gil Wolman. The dialogue between wailing saxophones and vocal cries, punctuated by percussive thuds and crashes, can at times feel less like a musical performance and more like the calls of some mysterious forest creatures, possessing a primordial energy that might remind some listeners of the outdoor antics of Brötzmann and Bennink's Schwartzwaldfahrt.

Oblique Strategies can also be delicate at times, as on the beautiful third piece, 'Destilled Edible', dominated by a slow, microtonal melody played with a breathy tone resembling a shakuhachi. The closing side-long 'Light My Fire' ranges across classic improv call and response, skittering trumpet blurts, inept cymbal clatter, mock-operatic vocals, and crude tape manoeuvres. Momentarily pausing at the ten-minute mark for an interlude of ghostly room sound and crackling texture, its closing moments unfurl a glorious dual saxophone finale, the almost epic tone subtly undermined by Tyfus quietly tapping out swing rhythms. Arriving in a striking sleeve adorned with Tyfus' drawings, Oblique Strategies is an invigoratingly free-spirited blast of improvisation."-Black Truffle


Artist Biographies

"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.

His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.

In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.

In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."

-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
4/17/2024

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

"Mette Rasmussen is a Danish saxophone player based in Trondheim, Norway. She works in the field of improvised music, drawing from a wide range of influences, spanning free jazz to textural soundwork. Rasmussen works on exploring the natural rawness of her instrument - experimenting on what the saxophone is capable of in sound and expression, with and without preparations. Much in demand, she has performed with the likes of Alan Silva, Chris Corsano, Ståle Liavik Solberg, and with her Trio Riot group with Sam Andreae and David Meier."

-Cafe Oto (https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/artists/mette-rasmussen/)
4/17/2024

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

"Dennis Tyfus (1979) is a Belgian piano virtuoso and visual artist.

His work is based on an unbridled drawing practice and a preference for language and words, but the way it appears is always different. The work is constantly moving. The sculptural aspect of Tyfus's work is the way in which he carefully and consciously deals with the space it occupies. There are flyers and posters, drawings, paintings and performances, as well as installations, sculptures, videos, vinyl records, concerts, t-shirts, magazines, books and tattoos. Tyfus uses his label Ultra Eczema, which by now consists of about 250 releases, in order to integrate influences and interests and to keep count of his tangled artistic practice.

Dennis Tyfus has collaborated with many artists and musicians such as Mette Rasmussen, Chris Corsano, Cameron Jamie, Albert Mayr, Thurston Moore, Joe Mcphee etc."

-Cafe OTO (https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/artists/dennis-tyfus/)
4/17/2024

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


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Death or Dinner? 7:29

2. Sun Gore 4:31

3. Destilled Edible 4:07

SIDE B



1. Light My Fire 19:20

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
Trio Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Joe McPhee
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Black Truffle.


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