Some Some Unicorn – “Live at Iklectik” (ODD7 Records, 2017)

“Live at Iklectik” is a new avant-garde jazz album which was released this month by “ODD7 Records”. Album was recorded by ensemble “Some Some Unicorn” which has two absolutely different sets of musicians who are playing in first and second this album compositions. Set One Lineup – Graham Dowdall (electronics), Simon Fox ( trombone), Michael Grew (trumpet), Stephen Grew (piano), Geraldine McEwan (violin), Daniel Ross (electronics), Hervé Perez (saxophone) and Ian Thompson (cello). Set Two Lineup is played by absolutely different musicians – it’s Seth Bennett (double bass), Steve Beresford (piano), Shaun Blezard (electronics), Andrew Lisle (drums), Rachel Musson (saxophone), Stephen Shiell (objects), Ian Simpson (guitar), Jake Stoddart (trumpet) and Hannah White (vocals). All these musicians are absolutely different from each other. Different styles, unique playing manners, weird sounds, unusual and extended ways of playing, interesting improvising by each ensemble member are masterfully combined together in one improvisation. Musicians are improvising spontaneously and free, each of them is active in avant-garde jazz scene, collaborating with various famous jazz masters. This album is agreat opportunity to hear interesting and experienced avant-garde jazz masters improvising together and to compare two compositions which are played by absolutely different group of musicians.

Two compositions of this album are completely different from each other. “Iklectik Set One” composition is based on avant-garde jazz music elements, has interesting and evocative musical language, numerous of different expressions and rich mucal pattern. Bright reeds melodies are full of virtuosic and wild fast solos, rapid and active movements, silent and lyric episodes, strange and weird timbres. Along with trumpet, trombone and saxophone melodies there also are other very interesting instruments. Expressive and dynamic piano melodies, subtle and melodic violin and cello solos are masterfully combined together with electronics and other special effects. Various electronic music playing techniques are used in this composition mostly as a background element – various computer, electronic devises, synths sounds, field recordings and other traditional and innovative electronic music playing techniques form a solid background and fine colouristic atmosphere of the compositions. Acoustic instruments timbres and sounds have wide range of different colors which are gently combined together. Polyphonic facture, difficult, nright qand evocative musical language are blended together with musical experiments. Unusual and strange sounds search, extravagant and innovative musical decisions, shocking and extraordinary playing techniques and high variety of different musical expressions create original and solid basement of this composition. “”Iklectik Set Two” is played by  a group of absolutely different musicians – it’s also based on spontaneous musical decisions, free jazz elements and innovative musical language, but it’s still differs from the forst composition. The main difference is the sound which is mostly formed by acoustic instruments and vocals – this composition has less electronics and more acoustic instruments sounds. All musical experiments are mostly played by reeds, piano, string section instruments and masterfully blemded together with recitals, recitatyves and vocal melodies. Electronics are also used in this composition, but it mostly has soft, subtle and colouristic sound. The main sound of the album is formed by various kinds of acoustic instruments and difficult musical language. The musical pattern, rhythmic and melodic basement are formed by numerous of different musical language elements. Extravagant, provocative and bright melodies, subtle and soft solos, synthesis between academic avant-garde, experimental music, free jazz and modern jazz styles are the main elements of thhis composition. Various kinds of musical expressions and playing techniques such as recitatyves, recitals of short sentences or words, pizzicato, glissando, powerful blow outs, virtuosic arpeggios and other are connected with numerous innovative ways of playing. Some rock music intonations are also heard in this compositions and are brought here by guitar solos. Dissonance harmony, various unusual and extraordinary sounds, special effects and other colouristic elements are gently blended together. Rich and bright musical language, absolutely different elements which are gently blended together and astonishing improvising of all musicians create original and evocative sound of this album.

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