Houtkamp – Beresford – Blume – “Live in Prague 2017” (Pow Records, 2017)

“Live In Prague 2017” is the newest and probably one of the last albums released this year. Album was released on December 26 by “Pow Records”. The compositions were recorded by three outstanding jazz musicians – Luc Houtkamp (tenor saxophone), Steve Beresford (piano, electronics) and Martin Blume (drums, percussion). These three musicians are improvising together not for a first time. They had had many projects, collaborations and concerts as a trio or together with other famous jazz musicians. Trio members have their own, unique and active playing manner. Free jazz, avant-garde, experimental jazz elements are gently combined together with electronic music, contemporary academical music styles and other elements. Musicians improvisations always have interesting, dynamic and vivacious sound. Very expressive, especially emotional and passionate improvising is full of unpredictable stylistic waves, turns and sudden changes of music elements. Synthesis between academic avant-garde and avant-garde jazz mostly is brought here by Luc Houtkamp. He masterfully manages to combine two absolutely different music styles and their elements and form spontaneous and interesting improvisations. Steve Beresford and Martin Blume improvising all the time is creative and free, filled with furious solos, inventive and shocking musical decisions and had constantly changing musical language.

This album compositions were recorded in Prague this year. Compositions have original and creative sound. Twp absolute opposite music genres – avant-garde jazz and contemporary academical music styles are gently twisted together. This music is based on avant-garde jazz, but also is effected by other music styles. Avant-garde jazz, free jazz, creative, fusion, bebop, hard-bop, some elements of traditional jazz styles, contemporary academical music and composition intonations, electronic music sounds – this wide range of different music styles and its elements are combined and connected together. Musicians try out many different expressions, extended methods of playing, inventive and extravagant musical decisions to create dynamic, energetic and surprising sound. This music is full of surprises and powerful bursts and blasts of energy. From energetic, loud and intense collective improvisation, furious and very active bebop piano solos to traditional jazz melodies, static rhythmic or subtle episodes of contemporary academical music – all these sudden changes are heard all the time in these compositions. Free and spontaneous improvising is effectively combined with subtle and calm episodes which have much similar elements with academical music and classical composition. Masterful combination of these two opposite music genres create dynamic and interesting sound of this album. Luc Houtkamp improvisations are gorgeous and colorful – he manages to combine wild fast and furious solos, energetic and sharp melodies, powerful and intense blow outs, calm, peaceful and subtle solos and many other  music elements. By using many different playing manners and twisting them in one place one after another, saxophonist create very dynamic and unpredictable sound of these compositions. Wide range of sounds, different colors and timbres are heard in all his improvisations. Steve Beresford playing is somewhere between bebop, free improvisation, swing jazz, other traditional jazz styles and academic music. He masterfully twist and changes playing moods, characters and other musical language elements. Pianist playing is full of life, unpredictable and sudden changes of musical language, extended and innovative musical expressions and other elements. All these essential elements are combined with electronics sounds. Timbres and sounds of electronic music are heard differently in all compositions. It’s just a colouristic element in some compositions, and one of the most essential – in second composition. In “Incomprehensible” improvisation electronics sounds are heard very brightly and intensive, these elements gently get along with piano melodies, dynamic percussion and saxophone melodies. Martin Blume improvisations are full of strange and unknown timbres – he masterfully fuses together wild fast, active and furious drum rolls, calm and static playing with very dynamic, constantly changing and extremely loud improvisations. The improvisations of all three musicians are gently and subtle combined together in one place. Bright, intense, gorgeous, powerful, dynamic and creative improvising create original and innovative sound of this album.

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6 thoughts on “Houtkamp – Beresford – Blume – “Live in Prague 2017” (Pow Records, 2017)”

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