(BMC CD 282. CD review by Peter Slavid)
The term “Chamber Jazz” is much overused, almost as much as as the word “Supergroup”, and yet this album is undoubtedly both. A genuine European Supergroup playing intricate and intelligent chamber jazz.
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This is the second album from the Velvet Revolution issued, like the first, by the increasingly impressive and prolific Hungarian label BMC (Budapest Music Centre). The Velvet’s first prizewinning album A Short Moment Of Zero G came out three years ago and since then the trio have clearly been performing together and working in the studio, with the result that their sound is even more integrated and intuitive.
Daniel Erdmann composed all the tracks on this bar one, and his playing is rapidly becoming a powerful force on the European scene. He was a strong voice on the highly rated recent album from Aki Takase. He’s capable of switching seamlessly between atmospheric, melodic and freer playing.
Jim Hart on vibes is well known in the UK, although he now lives in France. A founding member of London’s Loop collective and leader of Cloudmakers, he’s also a top class drummer.
Théo Ceccaldi on violin plays everything from gypsy jazz to free improv and is as adept at strumming and plucking as he is with a bow.
The album starts out with the title track which begins with a plucked riff on the violin, over which we get atmospherics from the vibes and breathy sax sounds. A dark fluttering melody on the sax then emerges and the sax and vibes then intertwine their improvisations in a classic drumless sound, as the volume increases and then eventually fades.
What’s impressive throughout is the interplay and contrasts between the instruments, and the way that each track manages to offer different combinations taking lead and supporting roles.
Despite a few lighter moments and a delightful arrangement of Somewhere over the rainbow, the overall feel of the album is quite dark and atmospheric with 12 short tracks nevertheless making an engrossing 45 minutes
Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations
Categories: CD review
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