audio review: Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park (Cork, 04–04–11)

artwork for Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)
Distant mountain ranges, plateaus and landscapes populate Dave Sumner’s review at Bird is the Worm of the download release by Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park:

Han-earl Park has a special place in my music experience. I think, without exception, there has not yet been an opening to any one of his compositions where I have not had an adverse reaction, either repelling me back in my seat or leaving me shaking my head in exasperation of the noise coming out of my speakers. But the thing of it is, without exception, I find myself listening straight through to the final note. Somehow Han-earl Park finds a way to convert my ears to his music one song at a time….

There is no other artist in which I describe this way….

‘Topologically Correct Harry,’ it’s Sikora’s sax that ushers the listener right on in through the front door. Utilizing a pattern of phrasing that gives the impression of outlining a mountain range from a distance, Sikora’s sax is at the center of attention, with Smith’s trumpet searing blemishes of heat on a radar screen as Park’s guitar gurgles and pops just beneath the surface….

‘바르트’ has Ian Smith’s trumpet setting the table and drawing up a spontaneous menu of jab-right-cross combinations. Sikora moves in slow, but once she’s got both feet in the room, her sound expands into wildly arcing phrases that, when combined with Smith’s one-twos, makes for a delicious whirling dervish of sound. Park mostly keeps to the background, picking his spots and letting things develop organically….

‘Red Line Speed’ begins as a slow build that gains momentum along with height. It hits a plateau at the heart of the song, giving the sense of all three instruments feeling around in the dark to figure out the lay of the land before continuing their ascent in the final stretch of the track….

‘Massimo’s Imagined Juxtapositions’ is a lonely streetlight on a deserted midnight avenue, and the instruments are the moths darting in and out of the dim light carved into the darkness.

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Also available for download…

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