Album reviews

Krononaut – ‘Scratch Test’

Krononaut – Scratch Test

(Glitterbeat GBDL 111. Review by Tony Dudley-Evans)

This three-track EP comes out of the recording for the Krononaut album released in September 2020, which was a collaboration between drummer Martin France and producer and guitarist Leo Abrahams.  That full album  attracted a lot of attention for its distinctive use of electronic soundscapes, and was the LondonJazz News choice for the Europe Jazz Media Chart in October 2020.

The three tracks come out of what must have been a warm up session with three members of the ensemble:  France and Abrahams themselves plus Matana Roberts on tenor saxophone.  Apparently the interaction between the three players was immediately so good that they knew that they were in for an excellent full session, and now they have decided to put out three tracks from that initial play.  Scratch Test comes from the beginning of the improvisation and Loam comes from the end.  In these two tracks Roberts blues influenced playing on the tenor sax fits extremely well with Abrahams’ edgy statements on the guitar.  The middle track Trypography comes from the middle of the improvisation, and features Arve Henriksen’s trumpet which was overdubbed onto the track.  Again, his atmospheric sound fits very well with the interaction between guitar and drums.

It is interesting that Martin France, one of major figures in British jazz since the days of Loose Tubes, now chooses to focus on projects with, for example, Yazz Ahmed, and Nils Petter Molvaer rather than run a regular ensemble of his own.  This latest project with Leo Abrahams is one of his most successful.

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LINK: Krononaut – Scratch Test on Bandcamp

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