Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe – “Channels” (Intakt, 2019)

“Channels” is a new release of “Intakt Records”. Album was recorded by Stephan Crump (acoustic bass), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor and soprano sax) and Cory Smythe (piano). Three great improvisers had been improvising together many times. Their improvisations are vital, innovative and expressive. The musicians contain the centre of American avant-garde jazz scene, they’re also famous at world-wide scene. Innovative ideas, brave decisions, ambitious, franky, weird or stunning playing techniques, fascinating experiments and original point of view – all these elements make an effort to modern and extravagant sound of the music. All music is totally based on avant-garde jazz. Innovative experiments meet the traditions, main principes of improvising and the roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz. Musicians don’t follow the old rules – they create new principes on their own, but still save the main idea of avant-garde jazz. Spontanity, impression, contrasts, rich and illustrative musical language, drive, expression and passion make bright and luminous sound of improvisations, played by this trio.

“Channels” is filled with dynamic and luminous sound. The music has a wide spectre of colors, moods and other musical language elements. All three improvisers are demonstrating the best skills of improvising – they’re jumping from the one mood to another and make the colorful sparkles all the way through the compositions. The experiments on each section of musical language is the main priority of musicians. Research of weird tunes, extraction of colorful, strange and unheard timbres, creation of experimental, extravagant or innovative ways of playing, extended playing techniques, sharp chords sessions and special effects certainly colorfully illustrate whole album. That makes an effort to formation of imaginary and rich musical language. It’s bases on various kinds of rhythms, sounds, timbres, playing techniques, manners, emotions and other elements of musical language. All these elements are organically brought up together. Open form and free improvisation is the main attribute of each composition, as well as sharp harmony, complicated and dynamic rhythmic, scandalous solos, expressive melodies or silent and calm pieces. The music is based on avant-garde jazz, but still has an nfluenze of bebop, post bop, and other modern and contemporary jazz styles. Musicians create and keep solid melodic section, colorful background and dynamic rhythmic section. Each master is improvising individually, but their melodies are joined together on one musical pattern. Stephan Crump is playing with passion and expression. His music is the fusion of avant-garde, modern and contemporary jazz, and mixed up with the tunes of contemporary academical music. That makes an effort to dynamic and effective sound. Musician is always balancing between composition and free improvisation – there’s no strict border between these two different things. Sharp, strict and academical piece can turn out to wild, free and frenzy improvisation with breaking sessions, scandals, turbulent culminations and shrieky tunes. Expressive melodies, dramatic and extremely loud bursts of energy, original themes, sharp and repetitive sequences of chords, deep and tight bass line, typical ways of composing who are related to contemporary academical music – that’s just a part of the musical language. Very-well arranged compositions gently fit together with free improvisations, dizzy passages, flowing and impressive melodies, spontaneous solos or deep contemplations. Ingrid Laubrock music is totally based on avant-garde and experimental jazz. There’s also some tunes who are related to modern and contemporary jazz, but it’s used only as a coloristic element. Radical decisions, ambitious ideas, stunning experiments, luminous culminations, sharp, urgling, growling and hot riffs, aggressive and furious spills, rigorous blow outs – all these elements gently fit with flowing, light, peaceful, impressive or simply beautiful excerpts. Cory Smythe piano music also is driving and expressive. It’s filled surprises and contrasts in every way – loud storms, silent lullabies. playful and vivid pieces, furious and sharp roulades, flowing and dizzy passages, gentle and peaceful pauses who suddenly turn out to horrible thunders, breaking sessions or turbulent spills of energy and drive. All kinds of sounds, timbres and moods are used here – it’s gently fit together in bright and original way. All three musicians are improvising with passion – their music has hypnotising and driving sound.

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