Nick Fraser – “Is Life Long?” (2017)

“Is Life Long?” is one of the newest albums which was recently released by “Clean Feed Records”. Album was recorded by Nick Fraser (drums), Tony Malaby (saxophones), Andrew Downing (cello) and Rob Clutton (bass). Musicians are improvising together for several years now. They always like to experiment in all musical language elements – free improvising, creative and inventive musical decisions, unpredictable and sudden stylistic waves, dynamic and spontaneous changes of moods and character are the main basement of their improvisations. All these elements bring to their compositions creative, bright and adventurous sound. Musicians had been improvising with such avant-garde jazz legends as Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Dave Liebman, Peter Brotzmann and many others. Each of them has own playing style and unique sound which is based on different music styles synthesis, rich and extraordinary musical language, extended playing techniques and various musical expressions.

Album compositions are based on collective improvisation. Free, spontaneous solos, full of extended playing techniques, innovative musical decisions and expressions, independent melodies form the main basement of these improvisations. Evocative, emotional and expressive solos are full of wild fast arpeggios, loud and noisy blow outs, full blasts of energy and many other elements. The musicians improvisations are quiet different from each other. Saxophonist Tony Malaby improvisations have especially energetic and expressive sound. Vivacious, moody and full of stylistic waves and turns – saxophonist improvisations are full of these elements. His playing is based on spontaneous and innovative musical decisions, free and extraordinary sound experiments, different styles twisting together in one composition. These improvisations are very important element of mostly compositions – it brings vivacious, interesting and dynamic sound. Andrew Downing cello and Rob Clutton bass improvisations are subtle and dynamic. Musicians try out many extraordinary and original string playing techniques, shiw their inventive and creative improvising style. Their improvisations are gently blended together with expressive saxophones melodies. The conversations between saxophone, cello and bass are the part of the most effective episodes of this album – independent and separate melodies which are strongly contrasting with each other are masterfully combined together. Expressive, emotional, dramatic, sometimes even provocative sound is created in these compositions. Nick Fraser drums also are very important part of these compositions. His playing has a gorgeous and colorful timbres, numerous of different rhythmic formulas and is based on inventive musical decisions. Nick Fraser try out many different ways of playing – powerful drum rolls, furiously fast arpeggios, fanfars, unusual and colorful timbres and other musical language elements are marvelously twisted together in his improvisations. Very solid and strong drums make a interesting rhythmical basement and musical background of the compositions. Vivacious and interesting acoustic instruments melodies are illustrated with dynamic and powerful drums. Each musician shows his own and original playing style, unique sound and ability of outstanding improvising. Rich and colorful musical language, extended playing techniques, inventive musical decisions and incredible improvising create original and outstanding sound of this album.

13 thoughts on “Nick Fraser – “Is Life Long?” (2017)”

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