Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver – “Floating Islands (LP)” (Pladeselskabet Centrifuga/ Insula Music/ ILK Music, 2018)

Floating Islands Anker cover.jpg

“Floating Islands (LP)” is a new release of “ILK MUSIC”, “Insula Music” and “Pladeselskabet Centrifuga” labels. Album was recorded by a trio – Lotte Anker (saxophones), Craig Taborn (piano) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Three musicians are great and inventive improvisers. They have their own and original playing style, tremendous and specific playing manner and unique sound. The music is filled with live, fresh and evocative musical decisions, brave experiments, innovations and the newest tendencies of contemporary academical music and avant-garde jazz. Musicians gently fuse together many different playing styles, expressions, moods and other elements. The “Floating Islands” was recorded quiet a while ago – on 2008 in Kopenhagen jazz festival. This year it’s released one more time, but on vinyl format. Ten years is a a long time in musician’s career – all these years improvisers had been improvising together many times. They had masterfully improved their playing style and formed unique and effective basics of it. All three musicians now are central figures of American and international avant-garde jazz scene. Their music is filled with bright, evocative, remarkable and innovative sound.

“Floating Islands (LP)” is filled with live, energetic and passionate sound. Musicians are improvising free, with passion and expression. Their music is filled with gorgeous timbres, dozens of colorful and illustrative expressions, innovative ways of playing and sound experiments. Free structure, open form, bright and splendid instrumentation, sharp harmony, dynamic and pulsating rhythmic, repetitive rhythmic and melodic series form the basics of solid, independent and bright musical language. The musical pattern has many layers, colors and moods. Each layer is different from the others – it has its own musical language, sound, mood, expression and instrumentation. All three musicians are dedicated to improvise adventurously and creatively – they take on risky and noisy collective improvisations, turbulent, roaring and intense solos, frantic and wild blow outs or just simply weird and crazy musical experiments. They don’t hesitate to search something new – many traditional ways of playing, expressions or playing manners are changed to unconventional, fresh and bright ways of playing. Musicians break usual forms, instead of them they construct new – mostly it’s based on open structure and free improvisation. The musical pattern is polyphonic, formed from many different rhythms, timbres, expressions and moods. Free improvisation certainly is the most important. It makes an effort to everything – main tune, mood and style of the compositions. It also lets for musicians to have free space to improvise without frames, take on risky musical decisions, expressive and passionate adventures or sudden spontaneous changes. The musicians do their best in these improvisations – they explore wide spectre of technical abilities of their instruments, make exotic combos, extract new and unusual timbres and reveal the most effective and beautiful elements of their playing style. The innovative ways of playing, the newest tendencies of experimental and avant-garde jazz, moody, pulsating and dynamic rhythmic, turbulent and unpredictable free improvisation is gently fused together with some soft intonations of contemporary academical music. That especially hears in slow and abstract episodes, who are based on repetitive rhythmic and melodic series, who are repeated many times. Long repetition of some rhythms creates meditative, relaxing or stable mood, which also makes an effort to whole sound. The main elements of minimalism are used here – simple structure, classical harmony, ordinary rhythmic structures, repetitive playing technique certainly are used here a lot. The music is always somewhere between avant-garde jazz, frantic and wild improvisation and modern contemporary academical music with evocative, fresh and innovative musical decisions. Vivid, bright and passionate saxophones solos are filled with gorgeous and unusual timbres, dozens of innovative playing techniques, abbreviations, ornaments, wild fast passages and other virtuosic elements. Turbulent culminations, roaring blow outs, expressive and passionate solos, remarkable, charming and dizzy melodies, subtle and relaxing moods – all these elements gently fit together in one place. Piano improvisations are bright, gentle and light. It’s vivacious and passionate, rigorous and angry, aggressive and provocative or scandalous and trendy. All kinds of moods and expressions are used here. Pianist constructs the musical pattern like a mosaic from numerous of tiny little pieces, who are contrasting with each other. Piano improvisations always are somewhere between turbulent, risky, adventurous and tremendous avant-garde jazz, sharp, aggressive and passionate bebop, post bop, other modern jazz styles and subtle excerpts of contemporary jazz. The drums section – moving, indepednent, solid and passionate. Dozens of timbres and rhythms are used here. Drummer masterfully integrates the rhythmic of ethnic music of Afroamerican, Western Africa countries, free  and experimental jazz, bebop, post bop, cool, fusion, progressive and other jazz styles. It’s tremendous, roaring, angry, bright, aggressive or silent, relaxing, light and gorgeous at the same time. The music of this album is bright, gorgeous and passionate.


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