Norbert Moslang – “Patterns” (Bocian, 2020)

Soprano saxophone player Sascha Armbruster, oboe player Kelsey Maiorano, clarinetist Toshiko Sakakibara, trumpeter Jens Bracher, trombonist Stephen Menotti and tuba player Janne Jakobsen gather together and record the compositions written by Norbert Moslang. “Patterns” is a new record on “Bocian” label – this album is a mix of academic avant-garde, experimental music, free improvisation and avant-garde jazz. The musicians join together different kinds of motions, expressions, styles and passions to create a rich and original sound.

Sonoristic experiments, strange timbres, extended playing techniques, exotic or unusual instrumental compilations, home-made resonators and innovative ways of improvising – the music of “Patterns” is fundamentally based on free improvisation and has many relations to experimental, spectral and contemporary academical music. Saxophone, clarinet, oboe and trumpet are the leading instruments. They contain the basic of the melody line which is driving filled with stunning passages, furious growls and full blasts. Vivid, elegant or intriguing and aggressive saxophone, expressive moving clarinet brings the basics of avant-garde jazz – free improvisation, spontaneous solos, sudden jumps from the one mood to another, strange, eclectic and exclusive musical decisions, dizzy passages and gorgeous ornaments are the main elements of saxophone improvisations. The improvisers get on shrieky exclamations, tremendous culminations with persecuting hysteric sequences, repetitive series and intriguing turns. More compounds related to avant-garde and modern jazz, and free improvisation, as well, are brought in by trumpet. It’s rigorous, bright and wild fullfilled with full blasts, hot growls, bursts of energy, thrilling, breaking, waining and vital solos, transcendental passages which are suddenly passing to subtle, silent and minimalistic mood. Here repetitive series, monotonous tunes, deep harsh sounds and haunted pieces make a great combo with trombone. A trombone keeps a stable basement of melody line – its deep bass line passing to bright cracking solos and reaching tremendous, luminous and vibrant culminations gives more stable, deep and solemn sound to the compositions. On the contrary, an oboe is more related to contemporary academical music and academic avant-garde – sonoristic experiments, evocative ideas, extravagant decisions, modern expressions and original instrumentation based on extended playing techniques related to contemporary academical music. That makes an effort to suggestive, inspiring and evocative sound. Deep heavy tuba’s solos form a stable bass line. As a result, a nice compilation is made by mixing up reeds and brasses of various ranges – oboe and tuba makes a strong relation to contemporary academical music, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and clarinet are completely based on free improvisation and avant-garde jazz. That makes an evocative and original sound.


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