Stray – “Into Darkness” (Iluso Records, 2017)

“Into Darkness” is the newest avant-garde jazz album of “Iluso Records” which was released yeasterday, on November 10. Album was recorded by four jazz masters – John Butcher (saxophones), Dominic Lash (contrabass), John Russell (electric guitar) and Ståle Liavik Solberg (drums and percussion). The musicians improvisations are full of various jazz and rock styles elements, have dynamic and vivacious sound. Individual and unique sound, innovative and interesting playing manner, musical experiments, inventive musical decisions and rich musical language – all these elements are the main things that highly effects musicians improvising style. Musicians are active avant-garde jazz scene masters – they are collaborating with other jazz improvisers, are concerting at jazz festivals and concerts. John Butcher, Evan Parker, Tony Conrad, Joe Morris, Chris Corsano – these legends of avant-garde jazz scene are just a part of numerous musicians who had played together with “Stray” quartet members.

Album music is full of different moods, characters and is based on collective improvisation. Avant-garde jazz, rock and experimental music elements synthesis are heard very much in this composition. Saxophonist John Butcher is improvising very dynamic and vivacious. Expressive melodies are full of wild fast solos, powerful and stri\ong blow outs, interesting and innovative playing techniques, unusual sounds, sharp harmony and special effects – all these elements are the main basic of his improvisations. Vital and vivacious saxophone improvisations are connected with slow and lyrical episodes which have no melodic basic and are based on separate sounds and timbres. Dominic Lash contrabass melodies are full of colorful and gorgeous stylistic waves and moods changes – he try out many different playing techniques and musical expressions. From subtle, silent and peaceful to loud, strong, energetic and powerful – wide range of moods, dynamics, different temps and other music language elements are masterfully twisted together in Dominic Lash improvising. John Russell electric guitar brings rock elements to the compositions. Bright and energetic solos are gently blended together with saxophones, contrabass and drums improvisations. The synthesis of avant-garde jazz and rock music is made very subtle, organic and professionally. Ståle Liavik Solberg rhythms are full of different music elements – loud drum rolls, vivacious and wild fast arpeggios, soft and gentle separate sounds, unusual timbres and gorgeous noises of percussion instruments are combined together. Numerous of different rhythms are gently connected together and are always changing each other. Repetitive and monotonic, static and slow or wild fast and loud – all kinds of rhythmic elements are inventively used in this improvisation. Different and independent improvisations of each musician are based on individual music elements – own and unique improvising sound and manner by each musician is revealed in this composition. Wide range of music elements, playing techniques and expressions, vital, creative and astonishing improvising and many other elements create original and interesting sound of this album.

10 thoughts on “Stray – “Into Darkness” (Iluso Records, 2017)”

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