Ahmed – “Super Majnoon [East Meets West]” (Otoroku, 2019)

“Ahmed” quartet is an innovative ensemble of contemporary avant-garde jazz scene. All members are the central figures of international experimental jazz scene – they have a fascinating playing style, suggestive playing manner, invention and modern point of view. Avant-garde jazz and its various streams contain the basics of music created by this quartet. The music is passionate, dynamic and driving, filled with sudden struggles, turns, contrasts and impressive virtuosity. “Super Majnoon [East Meets West]” was recorded by all four members of “Ahmed” quartet – it’s Pat Thomas (piano), Antonin Gerbal (drums), Joel Grip (bass) and Seymour Wright (alto saxophone).

The compositions of “Super Majnoon [East Meets West]” are completely based on free improvisation, avant-garde jazz, world music and experimental jazz. The synthesis between these different styles are brought together to create a new and evocative conception of avant-garde jazz. The musicians are dedicated to create exceptional, modern and innovative sound – they don’t hesitate to make radical, provocative, experimental, weird or original musical decisions. That’s the reason, why an exclusive instrumental section is created – it’s completely based on experimental ideas, extended playing techniques and universal kit of special effects, tunes, sonoristic experiments and sounds. The music is played in driving and expressive mood – each musician is demonstrating his very own and original playing style. Repetitions, ornamentations, abbreviations, interesting stylistic allusions to contemporary academical music, minimalism or back to the roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz are the compounds of this album. However, avant-garde jazz and free improvisation are the main fundaments of these compositions. Free improvisation, instant playing and spontaneous solos are filled with drive, expression and pleasant surprises – these elements are used to join together all wide range of styles, expressions and moods. Piano is a source of energy and brightness. Remarkable passages, expressive vital melodies getting on terrific riffs, hysteric frantic solos and finally growing to wild culminations. Radiance, perturbations, breaking sessions, struggling pieces, monotnous aggressive sequences and repetitive series also accompagnie the main melody all the time. From deep silence to powerful noisy culminations, sharp disonances, repetitive samples, sweet light solos, melancholic contemplations, minimalistic pieces or driving melodies – Pat Thomas passes through all ranges of moods and characters to create an astonishing and inspiring sound. Saxophone by Seymour Wright also is exciting and driving. Here we can observe how succesfully saxophonist moves from one mood to another without any force. Repetitive rhythms, monotonous tunes, strange timbres, same samples repeated silmunateously are illustrating expressive melodies, driving riffs, luminous culminations and fascinating passages. Both musicians keep the basic of the melody line – they make inspiring, meditative, suggestive and evocative sound of it. Bass is bringing much more colors and tunes – Joel Grip makes moving solos, thrilling attacks, passionate melodies, dives in interesting sonoristic experiments, sudden strikes and research of new ways of playing. It makes a colorful background and makes the main musical pattern much more bright and exciting. Drums section is based on repetitive series, breaking sessions and wide range of percussion. Antonin Gerbal is mixing up together stable beats, colorful percussion, strange timbres, extended playing techniques, vivid dynamic sessions, perturbating wild culminations and impressive free improvisations. The music has a psychodelic, suggestive and exclusive sound.


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