Alcorn / McPhee / Vandermark – “Invitation To A Dream” (Astral Spirits, 2019)

“Invitation To A Dream” is a new edition of “Astral Spirits” label. Album was recorded by Susan Alcorn (Pedal Steel Guitar), Joe McPhee (Soprano Saxophone & Pocket Trumpet) and Ken Vandermark (Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet). Extravagant ideas, stunning experiments, pleasant surprises and driving style are joined all together in this album. The music is dynamic, bright, expressive and vital. It’s always based on the main elements of free jazz, experimental jazz, free improvisation and roots of avant-garde jazz. All three musicians are famous members of international avant-garde jazz scene. They already have their own and unique sound, which is based on innovative ideas, original point of view and extended playing techniques. Musicians are always dedicated to create something new – their music is a mix of Scandinavian and American avant-garde jazz and its ideas. Improvisers are playing together with huge amount of other jazz stars – their collaborations are usually interesting, exciting and driving.

“Invitation To A Dream” is a great example of collaboration between famous, experiended and talented jazz masters. Each of them is demonstrating his own and unique sound. The compositions are completely based on experimental jazz’s innovations, free improvisation, dynamic turns, sudden changes, bright contrasting episodes, modern jazz styles and its main elements. The tunes related to contemporary jazz and experimental music also are heard here in instrumental section. Innovative and original instrumental section is the main musician’s priority. An instrumental section is based on experimental, specific, home-made, weird, provocative, radical or even schocking musical decisions which are gently combined together with contemporary academical music and its ways of playing. Sonoristic experiments, research of strange timbres, special effects and all kinds of coloristics also make an effort to bright and original instrumental section. The result is just exciting – the musicians manage to create suggestive inspiring and innovative instrumental section. The other sections of musical pattern also are bright and effective. The compositions have an independent and passionate melody line, dynamic and expressive rhythmic section, stable and sharp harmony section and gorgeous background. An exciting and simply impressive melody line is created by all three improvisers. Each of them brings something new and fresh to the melody line. Sharp, bright and frantic clarinet’s and saxophone’s tunes by Ken Vandermark are the sources of energy and drive. Expressive, fascinating and passionate melodies are combined together with fantastic passages, vivid and animated glissando, frantic wild and thrilling culminations, growling bursting riffs, strange timbres, special effects, driving sessions and perturbating sequences. All these elements finally make an effort to expressive, bright and exceptional sound. Soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet by Joe McPhee are always real bursts of energy. This time is no exception – improviser is getting on brave adventures, flying transcendental passages, moving thrilling riffs, hot growls, full blasts of energy, urgent, perturbating and luminous solos, wild explosing culminations or calms down to relaxing, light and subtle episodes. Energetic, dynamic, wild and passionate mood is created. Ken Vandermar and Joe McPhee make a great combo all together – they make a fantastic reeds and brasses section and bring a remarkable, inspiring and simply amazing sound. Pedal steel guitar’s tunes have a bright and original sound. Susan Alcorn is the master of improvising – the improvisations are filled with dramatic culminations, aggressive and frantic riffs, passionate bursting spills, full blasts, bright and transcendenting passages, light, gentle and soft excerpts, minimalistic samples, solemn, relaxing and deep samples, meditative pieces or silent lullabies. All kinds of episodes are gently combined together – it has bright, passionate and original sound. Musicians create a luminous, original and expressive sound by using masterful virtuosity, enchanting and expressive playing manner and innovative ideas.


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