Gerry Hemingway, Barre Philips & Michael Moore – “Slips” (Ramboy, 2019)

“Slips” was recorded by three great American jazz masters brought together to improvisee – it’s Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, bird whistles), Barre Phillips (bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums, percussion). The fundaments of avant-garde jazz mixed with bebop, post bop, hard bop, other modern and contemporary jazz styles, innovations of experimental jazz, sonoristic experiments and extended playing techniques, make the main stylistic and instrumental base of their compositions. The musicians don’t hesitate to get on adventurous and expressive improvisations, integrate radical decisions or immediately burst on perturbating and radiant blasts of energy. Three great improvisers of American avant-garde jazz also are the central figures on international avant-garde and experimental jazz scene. Their invention, splendid virtuosity, charming and enchanting playing style, expressive playing manner, creativity and modern conception makes an effort to original, bright and astonishing sound.

“Slips” is based on all the main basics of avant-garde jazz which were already mentionned. The music is highly ornamentated, filled with virages, colors, tunes, timbres and special effects. A multi-layed, bright and exciting musical pattern is created by using inventive and experimental playing techniques, passionate, bursting and expressive riffs, transcendental passages, flowing ornaments, traditional ways of playing, sonoristic experiments, special effects, charming melodies, rich harmonic pattern and other elements. The music is moody, filled with immediate changes, gorgeous ornaments and elegant virages – lightness, hot sparkles, full blasts of energy, bursting thrills are against darkness, solemn pieces filled with deep contemplations, meditations, monotnous tunes and static beats. Reeds by Michael Moore contain the base of melody line. Vivid expressive saxophone, moving clarinet, dark and heavy bass clarinet all together with tiny gentle tunes of bird whistles – this interesting instrumental compilation makes an effort to colorful, vital and contrasting sound. Michael Moore is balancing between different moods and emotions – here he combines tremendous culminations, passionate charming melodies, terrific hollowing riffs, moving thrills accompagnied by glissando, gorgeous ornaments, flowing transcendental passages and special effects. These episodes are put against contrasting to deep, slow and monotonous bass clarinet. It’s bringing completely different mood to the album – depressed neglected solos with dark shadows and ambient tunes are turning to lyrical contemplations, romantic slow pieces, meditative minimalistic samples accompagnied all the time by stable monumental bass line. Saxophone and clarinet brings life, drive and excitment to the compositions, bass clarinet is the source of lyrical, contemplative and solemn sound. These two different sides are highly contrasting to each other, but still are masterfully brought together in subtle and delicat way. Bird whistles tunes are tiny, gentle, expressive and vital, sometimes – noisy, shrieky and aggressive. It’s generally used as a coloristic to illustrate rich and bright background. More deepness and solemnity is brought in by bass player Barre Phillips. His improvisations have a stable and tight bass line made from monotonous tunes and repetitive rhythmic series. These elements are joined together with breaking sessions, special effects, tremendous culminations, expressive melodies, ornamental section and colorful background. Sonoristic experiments, research of strange timbres and surprising decisions are very frequently made to bring more colors, tunes, emotions and virages to the musical pattern. Bass improvisations have a suggestive, vital and inspiring sound. Exotic tunes, gorgeous timbres, rare instrumental pairs, extended playing techniques, sonoristic experiments make a colorful and bright rhythmic section. Here bright and colorful percussion accompagnies all the time stable beats, terrific breaking sessions, fabulous culminations, vital expressive pieces, sparkling perturbations, driving melodies, hysteric scandals or tender silent pauses of the drums section – Gerry Hemingway uses his masterful virtuosity, creativity and invention to create a bright, independent and luminous rhythmic section.

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