Riffing on ‘morality,’ ‘heresy’ and music, Stanley Zappa, in the July issue of The New York City Jazz Record, reviews download releases by Han-earl Park with saxophonist, performer and theorist Franziska Schroeder; and with electronic artist Jin Sangtae, and drummer, composer and computer artist Jeffrey Weeter.
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…]
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Also available for download [more…]
Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011) [details…]
Performers: Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais), Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).
(cc) 2012 Murray Campbell/Randy McKean/Han-earl Park/Gino Robair/Scott R. Looney.