Sean Conly|Michaël Attias|Satoshi Takeishi – “Hard Knocks” (Clean Feed, 2018)

“Hard Knocks” is another one the newest release by “Clean Feed Records”. Album was recorded by three great jazz masters – Sean Conly (double bass), Michaël Attias (alto saxophone) and Satoshi Takeishi (drums). All three musicians have original and interesting playing style, unique sound and innovative playing manner. Their music is synthesized by many different jazz styles – modern and contemporary jazz styles are gently fused together with free improvisation and basics of avant-garde jazz. The main elements of bebop, hard-bop and post bop are mixed together with turbulent, powerful and spontaneous solos, fascinating and original musical experiments and special effects. Improvisations usually are based on open forms, have abstract and constantly changing musical pattern, sharp, aggressive and dissonance harmony and dynamic rhythmic. Active, rapid and energetic episodes are naturally combined together with subtle and calm excerpts. Each musician has expressive and passionate playing manner – they are the masters of combining together avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, furious, rigorous and dynamic solos, special effects and blow outs and dozens of other playing expressions and techniques into one place. Great jazz masters had been playing and improvising together many times. Their collective improvisations are always full of dynamic and expressive solos, inventive musical decisions and have a remarkable sound.

The music of “Hard Knocks” has all main elements of avant-garde jazz and free improvisations. The compositions are based on spontaneous, furious, expressive, powerful and vibrant solos, remarkable and impressive melodies, special effects, huge range of unusual timbres and weird sounds, rigorous and intensive blow outs and many other similar elements. The musicians are exploring various fields and sections of musical pattern – they are trying out new ways of playing, combining together different scales, chords, rhythms and expressions. The biggest attention they pay to the search of weird sound and timbres. Huge range of traditional playing techniques is mixed together with experimental ways of playing. That makes an effort to colorful and gorgeous variety of weird timbres, sounds and tones. Saxophone melodies by Michaël Attias are filled with expressive solos, virtuosic and marvelous passages, impressive and memorable melodies, calm and peaceful excerpts, lyrical and dynamic episodes and silent rests. Saxophonist fuses together all these different episodes in one place. His music is made of contrasts – the episodes, which are the opposites to each other, naturally go along together. Expressive and rapid solos are combined with subtle and calm melodies, relaxing excerpts with turbulent, active and vibrant blow outs, marvelous passages and other things. All these elements are connected together naturally and organically – finally it grows to dramatic, turbulent and powerful culminations. Saxophone improvisations bring evocative, colorful and expressive sound. Sean Conly double bass melodies also have two absolutely different sides. Especially calm, silent, relacing and peaceful melodies, abstract musical pattern, separate melodic and rhythmic intonations, which have no relations with each other, are connected with expressive, striking, touching and vivid solos. The bassist masterfully tries out new ways of playing, extract unusual and weird sounds and is switching between different moods, expressions and playing techniques. His music is effective, expressive, touching and based on inventive musical decisions. Satoshi Takeishi drums section is based on huge variety of different rhythms – basic forms of bebop, post bop, hard bop and other modern jazz styles are mixed together with free improvisations, turbulent and spontaneous solos, loud and powerful drum rolls, huge range of interesting and weird timbres of percussion, and other similar things. The marvelous and organic synthesis between all these elements makes an effort to original and solid rhythmic section and expressive sound. The music is filled with dozens of different experimental and traditional ways of playing, is played very expressively and with passion – that brings us remarkable and impressive sound of whole album.

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