Kategorie

Torturing the Saxophone


  • Kod: CVSDCD012
  • Producent: Corbett vs. Dempsey (USA)
  • Wykonawca: Mats Gustafsson
  • Nośnik: CD
  • Cena: 65,99 zł
  • Poleć produkt

Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska:
2015-06-25
kontynent: Europa
kraj: Szwecja
opakowanie: kartonowe etui
opis:

multikultiproject.blogspot.com; 2014-11
"Są czasem osoby w historii sztuki, które nie będąc wybitnymi artystami zmieniają historię muzyki (lub innej formy artystycznej działalności). Dla chicagowskiej sceny awangardowego jazzu taką osobą jest John Corbett. Chociaż sam jest (lub raczej był) improwizującym muzykiem, dla szerszego spectrum odbiorców jest raczej teoretykiem sztuki, kuratorem wystaw i festiwali, właścicielem galerii, a ostatnio znów - bo przed laty współaścicielem oficyny Atavistic - wydawcą płyt. To właśnie dzięki jego działalności chicagowska scena awangardowego jazzu zyskała obecny kształt. To on odpowiada za obecność na niej Petera Brotzmanna czy też skandynawskich muzyków. To dzięki jego staraniom w Stanach pojawił się Mats Gustafsson i europejscy muzycy jego pokolenia. Ale też to dzięki niemu Ken Vandermark i muzycy tzw. Młodego Chicago zaczęli przyjeżdżać do Europy. Jak wyglądał by amerykański jazz bez tego wszystkiego - naprawdę trudno dziś sobie wyobrazić.

Teraz, dzięki jego aktywności wydawniczej do szerszej publiczności ma okazję trafić materiał solowy Matsa Gustafssona, zarejestrowany w latach 2008-2011, a pierwotnie wydany na jednostronnych winylach w oficynach Qbico i Sagitarus, który jest dosyć nietypowy. Po pierwsze dlatego, że Mats sięga tu po kompozycje nie koniecznie kojarzone z free jazzem. Dobrze, powie ktoś, ale to samo było na płytach Swedish Azz. Tak, lecz nigdy wcześniej nie robił tego solo. Owszem sięgnął po utwory autorstwa Steve'a Lacy, ale nie dekonstruował ich w takim stopniu jak tutaj. No i nigdy wcześniej nie sięgnął do tak dawnej historii gatunku jak tutaj - nagrał tu bowiem kompozycje Duke'a Ellingtona.

Pierwotnie były trzy płyty winylowe. Materiał z nich ułożony jest chronologicznie - tak jak został zarejestrowany. Na początek Duke Ellington i jego jazzowe standardy, potem Ayler (trzy, właściwie nawet cztery kompozycje - Our Prayer, Angels / Spirits i Ghosts) i na koniec niesamowita, piękna ballada Larsa Gullina w ponad dwudziestodwuminutowej wersji. Zaskoczeniem w przypadku tego albumu może być to, że tytuł nie w pełni oddaje to co płyta zawiera - słuchając go jednym ciągiem wcale nie mam wrażenia tortura saksofonu czy też torturowania słuchaczy przy jego pomocy - zwłaszcza w drugiej części płyty. Jeżeli już można mówić o takim zabiegu, to Gustafsson czyni to przy pomocy elektroniki i swojego magicznego muzycznego pudełka (będący niczym więcej jak urządzeniem do produkcji sprzężeń dźwiękowym, bardzo głośnych i o dużym natężeniu). Ale dla obeznanych chociaż trochę z twórczością szwedzkiego artysty lub tych którzy zetknęli się ze sceną noise'u ściana dźwięku zbudowana z postindustrialnego hałasu i sprzężeń nie będzie wcale torturą czy nawet zaskoczeniem. Może nim być to, gdy wsłuchamy się w nie głębiej i odkryjemy, że to wcale nie hałas ale, że pod tą maską kryje się delikatna fraza "In a Sentimental Mood", "Blue Goose" czy też "Sophisticated Lady". Bo te kompozycje - nawet w elektronicznie-zgrzytliwych wersjach - są wciąż rozpoznawalne i imponująco piękne.

Ale Mats odsłania swoje prawdziwe oblicze i maestrię gdy chwyta za saksofon. Potężny i hymniczny gdy Aylera, drapieżny gdy Ellingtona, zadziwiająco liryczny i melancholijny w "Danny's Dream", kompozycji dedykowanej synowi kompozytora, rzeczywiście mającej w tej interpretacji coś ze spokoju dziecięcego snu. Zawsze brudny i połamany, nawet gdy gra delikatne frazy jazzowych standardów. No i to brzmienie, sound jak mawiają muzycy. Od niego naprawdę trudno się uwolnić, a zapomnieć nie sposób. Niezwykła płyta. Koniecznie!"
autor: Marcin Jachnik


Editor's Info:
One of the most celebrated folks in improvised music, Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson made three ultra-limited edition vinyl LPs, each featuring a different dedication to a favorite musician from the past. Released in batches of 99, these records found Gustafsson playing compositions by Duke Ellington, Albert (and his brother Donald) Ayler, and the important post-bop baritone player Lars Gullin. Long out-of-print, these priceless slabs of free music have quickly become sought after collector’s items. Torturing the Saxophone compiles all three LPs, plus some extra material, featuring Gustafsson at both his most experimental and his most lyrical. He purrs his way through Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” then demolishes “Come Sunday.” He draws out Gullin’s “Danny’s Dream,” rendering it truly dreamlike, perhaps nightmarish. Gustafsson shared the LPs with his new friend R. Crumb, the famous comics artist and shellac enthusiast. Crumb’s stunned response provides liner notes for the CD (“…I was kind of shocked at what a negative, unpleasant experience it was…”) and the perfect title. Only one way to hear what rubbed Crumb so hard the wrong way – listen in to hear what pain and possible injury Mats Gustafsson inflicts upon his horns.

freejazz-stef.blogspot.com; ocena: * * * * 1/2
In 2008 and 2009 Mats Gustafsson released two highly limited solo albums on the Italian Qbico label on which he pays tribute to two great masters: Duke Ellington and Albert Ayler. “Mats G plays Duke E” and “Mats G. plays Albert A.” were limited to 125 copies each, both are single sided pressings. The third album in this series is “Mats G. plays Gullin” which is released on the Sagittarius A-Star label in 2012. As you can imagine these albums have been out of print for quite a while and cost a lot of money on the second hand market, Thanks to Corbett vs. Dempsey they are available for a reasonable price on CD for the first time – and they even included a version of Ayler’s “Ghosts” which is not on the original LP.

This CD presents Gustafsson at both his most experimental and his most lyrical and especially his tender side is to die for. He purrs his way through Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” and “Sophisticated Lady”, adding extended techniques like clicks and snaps which gives the compositions a disturbing character. The sentimental mood displayed here is also a tenuous one and the lady depicted is one without any make-up, you can see what life has done to her. “Come Sunday” is hardly recognizable, the melody is buried under the debris of click sounds, as if rained down on the original notes. Doing this the track becomes a completely different intention. It was Ellington’s comment on the church bombing in Birmingham/Alabama, where four little girls died. While Ellington's original is a spiritual which praises God's existence, Gustafsson's version is a lament, a political comment, torn and ugly. “I never felt this way before” and “Blue Goose” show Gustafsson’s extreme side, both tracks are put through the grinder of electronic effects, Ellington’s originals are far echoes in the background.

Interestingly enough, you are completely wrong if you had expected Gustafsson to go on with this approach for his Ayler interpretations. “Our Prayer” starts with a musical box intro and then he takes over Ayler’s blues and gospel sound, he even intensifies it. You can literally feel that he is closer to him than to Ellington, this is the music of his heart. When he almost aspirates the notes of “Angels/Spirits” into his instrument, there is no question of torturing the saxophone, he is rather caressing it, even in the second part of the composition, when sounds become harsher and more disparate.

Lars Gullin’s “Danny’s Dream” then remains truly dreamlike but again there is nightmarish component (read a full review here).

The title of the CD comes from Robert Crumb, the famous comics artist and collector of old shellacs. Gustafsson sent the CD to him and Crumb’s puzzled response are the liner notes for the album. Crumb was obviously shocked by this music and he could hardly find words for it (“I was kind of shocked at what a negative, unpleasant experience it was, listening to it. I had to take it off long before it reached the end”). Poor Mr Crumb, how could you listen so hard the wrong way? How could you miss the beauty underneath? But reading his lines notes in which he expresses his confused feelings are just the icing on the cake of a great album.

Gustafsson is one of the few artists who can captivate an audience with a solo performance. If you go out and you want to pick only one of his many solo recordings, this will be a good choice.
By Martin Schray


dalstonsound.wordpress.com
Most of the music on this compilation originally appeared across three separate vinyl albums, each in a single edition of 99 copies, each dedicated to one of Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson’s favourite musicians: Duke Ellington, Albert (and Donald) Ayler, and post-bop baritone player Lars Gullin.

The first five cuts are all Ellington’s, all played by Gustafsson on tenor sax supplemented by live electronics.

“In a Sentimental Mood” is tonally soft, blue and bruised, but it incorporates an ‘out’ sequence of semi-vocalised abstractions. “I Never Felt this Way Before”, by contrast, sounds like a feedback stylophone solo over gritty, distorted loops. “Come Sunday” is brief and breathlessly blown, its melody reconstructed on a spine of plosive key pops.

A balance between acoustic and electronic sounds and textures having been established, there’s no saxophony amid the electronic riffles and course rotor grindings that constitute “Blue Goose”. I wasn’t familiar with the melody of “Blue Goose” before, and nothing’s changed there, but Gustafsson is more faithful to the melodic contour of “Sophisticated Lady”, around which he traces, with feathery lightness, a new, discursive contour.

With the Ellingtonia dispatched in around twenty minutes, Gustafsson, now on baritone, devotes equal time to Don Ayler’s “Our Prayer” (7:10), and to Donald’s brother Albert’s “Angels/Spirits” (13:29) and “Ghosts” (4:44). After a music box intro, Gustafsson yields the former slowly, expressively attentive to the rich, solemn timbre and textural depth of the low horn. Although he drifts toward exhortation, and flashes sudden focused intensities, he mostly treats “Angels/Spirits” in the same ruminant, borderline mournful way. He’s gruffer sermonising “Ghosts” with raw subdued passion, keenly attentive to Ayler’s soulful melodicism.

The first seven pieces having ben recorded over two sessions in 2008 and 2009, “Ghosts” and a single piece by Lars Gullin, “Danny’s Dream”, weren’t captured until separate dates in 2001. Still on Baritone, Gustafsson dwells on the latter for 22:30, no more hurried, staying faithful for fourteen minutes before breaking into coarse vocalese, shrilly braying variations, and a diminution into raw contact sounds that bridge to an even more subtle reprise of the composition’s tuneful essence.

The album’s liner notes comprise a missive from comics artist and vintage music collector R. Crumb, penned directly in response to Gustafsson’s music. it was Crumb who thus christened the collection Torturing the Saxophone. “I just totally fail…to see what this has to do with music as I understand it,” he wrote; “or what in God’s name is going on in your head that you would want to make such noises on a musical instrument. I was kind of shocked at what a negative, unpleasant experience it was, listening to it.” The inner sleeve carries the text in full, as a badge of perverse pride.

It’s had to see what Crumb objected to so strongly, unless (it isn’t specified) he heard, or focused only the pieces ‘enhanced’ with Gustafsson’s abrasive electronics. The other material here is handled, touchingly, with evident tenderness.

muzycy:
Baritone Saxophone - Mats Gustafsson (tracks: 6 to 9)
Musical Box [Music Box] - Mats Gustafsson (tracks: 6, 7)
Tenor Saxophone, Electronics [Live Electronics] - Mats Gustafsson (tracks: 1 to 5)

utwory:
1. In a Sentimental Mood 4:18
2. I Never Felt This Way Before 4:09
3. Come Sunday 2:13
4. Blue Goose 4:16
5. Sophisticated Lady 5:24
6. Our Prayer 7:06
7. Angels / Spirits 13:25
8. Ghosts 4:19
9. Danny's Dream 22:30

wydano: 2014
more info: www.corbettvsdempsey.com

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