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?
Questo album è solo un assaggio della musica coraggiosa, entusiasmante ed iconoclastica che si può trovare gratuitamente — sotto licenza Creative Commons— sul sito dell’etichetta Bandcamp ed altri ad essa collegati. “Cork, 04-04-11” è la registrazione — di ottima qualità — del concerto tenuto dalla sassofonista Catherine Sikora, dal trombettista Ian Smith e dal chitarrista Han-earl Park a Cork, Irlanda, nell’aprile del 2011. E da troppo tempo la relativa pagina giace fra i preferiti del browserdi redazione, per cui è giunto il momento di darne conto. Si tratta di creatività made in Ireland, per quanto Park e Sikora oggi si siano stabiliti a New York. La sassofonista di Cork possiede un timbro corposo al tenore ed una limpidezza che la pongono sulla scia di maestri come Jerry Bergonzi o Charles Lloyd (il lungo assolo in Red Line Speed), ma anche fra gli avanguardisti più temerari della scena europea. Particolarmente originale la chitarra di Park, le cui baritonali e caustiche idiosincrasie sembrano fornire lungo tutto il setspunti in prevalenza ritmici agli intrecci fra tenore e tromba. Molto noto in patria, Smith vanta collaborazioni con Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Steve Beresford ed è co-leader di rinomati gruppi del free londinese come Forest e Trian: il suo secondo Cd da titolare, “Daybreak” (Emanem, 2000), coinvolge fra gli altri Derek Bailey e Oren Marshall. La sua fantasiosa tromba apre irriverente in 바르트, e si accompagna a chitarra e sax in Red Line Speed, ripartendo, a metà brano, da un pianissimo soffiato che diventa più lungo e sinuoso, fino a tornare a tessere trame aeree e sorprendenti insieme al sax, la cui chiusura solitaria è quasi toccante. Tromba silenziata per Massimo’s Imagined Juxtapositions, con certe inflessioni milesiane tipiche di Wadada Leo Smith ma in qualche piega anche debitrici delle sfumature di Cherry e Dixon. Quanto al progetto dietro all’etichetta, è di per sé innovativo, permettendo agli utenti in molti casi di scaricare gli album battendo essi stessi un prezzo e, come in un’asta, il Cd acquisisce un suo valore di mercato e quindi un costo. Ovvio che chi prima arriva…
…There is no doubt that Sikora is the most luminous of the three, so much so that this recording is, now and forever “one of Catherine Sikora’s early recordings.” This is less the recording’s fault and more the fault of Ms. Sikora’s continued emergence as a leading, steering voice on the tenor saxophone. [Read the rest…]
These rare folk have the ability to spin a tale you have possibly heard before but can retell it with such clarity that you are captivated or better yet hypnotized. They can give you a new understanding of something you thought you already knew. This is a beautiful power and an ability that is rare to possess.
Catherine Sikora is such a person/player. She has a clean and colorful voice that could read me my autobiography and still have me in suspense….
The main story on the recording is track three. Clocking in at almost 25 minutes, Red Line Speed, is, to continue a theme here, the Shakespearian tragedy of the album. It starts with the chatter of a couple sitting at a table close to one of the microphones. The guitar comes in but the conversation continues in the background. Park changes up his percussive touch and somehow gets his guitar to sound like a tuba of sorts. The trumpet is next, adding to the subplot. By the time Sikora joins in, the stage has been set for quite the journey….
Tom Burris’ review also puts the spotlight on ‘Red Line Speed’ while imaging hearing a lost “Sonny Rollins and Derek Bailey duet”:
…‘Red Line Speed,’ best represents the trio’s interplay and dynamics. There is a moment where you’d swear you were listening to a Sonny Rollins and Derek Bailey duet. Smith plays spastic trumpet figures with a mute, while Sikora plays fluid lines and Park darts in between them. Smith plays a short solo of hissing sounds. My favorite moment occurs when Smith sounds like a drunken bumblebee & Sikora plays spiral figures as if she’s waving her arms, shooing him away. Then Park appears with sonic smacks, clumsily chasing the bee with an oar. When the piece comes to an abrupt end, amid trilling saxophone, muted trumped, and guitar smears, it sounds like they ripped a peanut butter sandwich apart and smashed it back together with the captured bee inside.
Park is especially adept at steering the group down side streets they might have otherwise ignored and utilizes simple techniques to arrive at unique sounds, such as sticking a piece of metal between the guitar strings & then finger-picking to approximate an alien banjo. Sikora is often the anchor of the trio, grounding them in traditional sonic terrain while playing every bit as imaginatively as the more unconventional Smith and Park. Smith frequently surprises with blurts and burps in one second, and full open tones in the next. [Read the rest…]
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.