Trio HLK – “Standard Time” (Ubuntu Music, 2018)

Standard Time

“Standard Time” was recently released by “Ubuntu Music”. It’s a debut album of “Trio HLK”. This ensemble members are great and creative musicians – it’s Steve Lehman (alto sax), Evelyn Glennie (vibraphone, marimba), Rich Harrold (piano), Ant Law (8-string Guitar and effects) and Richard Kass (drums and percussion). This is the first time, when all these musicians are playing together as an ensemble. Their music has many different stylistic waves, sudden turns and is based on inventive musical decisions. Each musician has his own and original musical language, playing manner and unique sound. Expressive and vivacious solos, loud, turbulent and passionate collective improvisations, brave and innovative musical experiments, rich musical language and many other similar elements form the basics of these compositions. The musicians have touching and expressive playing manner. Their music is very dynamic and emotional – the contrasts between different moods, characters and senses are connected together with modern and inventive ways of playing, musical experiments in all sections of musical language and dozens of different expressions. Their music is based on avant-garde jazz, but also has relations with bebop, post-bop, intonations of contemporary jazz and other similar jazz styles. Even though, that the music is based on fusion of different music styles, all musicians stick to the main elements of avant-garde jazz, experimental music and free improvisation.

The music of this album has interesting and expressive sound. Collective improvisations have rich and colorful musical pattern. It’s based many different layers, which are highly contrasting with each other. Expressive and vivacious melodies, independent solos, spontaneous improvisations, special effects, sound experiments, inventive and original sounds and innovative playing techniques help musicians to create original and dynamic music. The improvisation by each musician highly differs from the others. Alto saxophone by Steve Lehman are full of extended playing techniques, dynamic and expressive melodies, vivacious and colorful solos and other things. His music has evocative and interesting sound. The music is filled with passionate and vibrant solos – it’s the most remarkable and effective element of Steve Lehman music. Passionate, vivacious, expressive and rapid solos are full of wild fast and virtuosic arpeggios, colorful passages, glissando, drastic and sudden jumps from the lowest to the deepest registre of the instrument and many other similar playing techniques. The usual ways of playing are connected with fascinating musical experiments, original and interesting stylistic turns between expressive, sharp and aggressive modern jazz to turbulent and free collective improvisation. Experimental ways of playing help saxophonist to find and extract strange and interesting sounds and timbres. Piano improvisations by Rich Harrold are also very expressive and vivacious. His solos are full of life, energy and turbulent sound. Aggressive and sharp harmony make expressive and dramatic mood, dynamic rhythmic, stylistic waves, contrasts and dozens of different playing techniques and expressions also make an effort to whole sound of the album. Pianist music switches between free improvisation, spontaneous and gorgeous solos, colorful, virtuosic and passionate passages, drastic, aggressive and rigorous repetitive chords, dramatic culminations which are connected together with silent and peaceful episodes. All these elements make a remarkable sound of his music. Ant Law guitar improvisations bring the intonations of contemporary, main stream, bebop, hard-bop, post-bop and other modern jazz styles intonations to the album. Guitar solos also are very expressive and passionate – vivacious, aggressive, touching and interesting solos are fused together with main elements of avant-garde jazz. Free improvisation, shocking and provocative musical decisions, sound experiments, search of new timbres and playing techniques, special effects and other similar things put this music somewhere between avant-garde jazz, experimental music and modern jazz. Evelyn Glennie marimba and vibraphone improvisations and Richard Kass percussion make a bright and solid rhythmic section. Loud, turbulent, rapid and energetic drum rolls, fanfars, furious arpeggios and dramatic culminations gently fit together with colorful and gorgeous percussion and subtle, natural, warm and expressive timbres of vibraphone and marimba. The music of this album has remarkable and interesting sound – it’s a nice debut album.

5 thoughts on “Trio HLK – “Standard Time” (Ubuntu Music, 2018)”

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