Four ‘name your price’ downloads from… guitarist Han-earl Park in various improv formations situated at the more traditional, loquaciously active end of the spectrum…. The sense of energy and joy in Park’s playing spills over into this flurry of online activity… fans of the talkative brand of improvised music will find something of value.
Traditional? Talkative? Vague? Relentless? Claustrophobic? What do you think?
Though short, percussive, hard-to-notate sounds dominate Han-earl Park’s sound, he does utilize the totality of the guitar’s sonorities—just not in the proportions demanded by the nostalgic (retrospective, reactionary, etc.) owners of major media. Towards the end of “Nova” on Cork 3-26-09, Park even plays chords with voices that lead. Franziska Schroeder’s… saxophone is an excellent counterpoint to Park’s electric guitar, mostly because her post-tonal sensibilities are conceived and executed so well. Very simply, contemporary improvisation has grown beyond the 12-note chromatic division of the octave. Buh bye! It is this extended tonal consciousness by which Schroeder achieves the elusive by keeping the narrative aspects to a minimum without regressing to that childish, abnegating HVAC morality holding hostage the imagination of so many wind and reed players in our improvising community. [Read the rest…]
…Minimal tonal or harmonic sticking points to derail the listening experience—an experience not to be missed by Park agnostics and believers alike. Jeffrey Weeter on percussion and Jin Sangtae on what are most likely hard drives in varying states of repair… could very well be the perfect counterpoint to Park’s active, strident departure from the last 100 years of the prevailing guitar morality.
Sangtae’s post-human sonic contribution makes Park’s departure seem less heretical…. Here is unanimity of method and likeness of function. Motility of gesture and dynamics of phrase are celebrated with sound, neither antiquated harmonic stricture nor pre-Civil-Rights-era tropes. There is a directness, a paucity of fluff, which, more than any other quality or attribute, is what separates jazz from music that emerged from and ultimately supplanted it as the ‘art music’ of our day. Sangtae deserves special mention for his vision (as does Park for including scripting him in to the group). While likely not the first to use the staccato grrrr of a hard drive for musical gesture, none have used it with as much imagination or in a setting as sympathetic as Cork 1-24-11. Sangtae’s contribution underscores the collective nature of improvisation and creates a feeling of want, where and when he is not present. Without question, Cork 1-24-11 is a conceptual and aural high-water mark few will ever reach. [Read the rest…]