11 February 2018

Freedom in groove

My SoundOut this year was limited to the Sunday afternoon and a workshop. Five groups played: these two seemed to me to reference standard techniques a little more. I say that advisedly, a little more. These were still wildly atonal but notes were played on instruments. The first was loud and driving and outlandish and ridiculously exciting with high skill levels applied with rapacious excess. From the first notes, with little letup. I knew Paal from the workshop and he was driving and intent but still working around clearly underlying rhythms. I found myself tapping away to the strong but disguised grooves. Danish/Berliner bassist Adam was a force of nature, playing acoustic (other than a little condenser mic on a stand), high action with Spirocores, no pickup or amp, German bow intriguingly hanging from a hook on his belt (great idea!). Melbournite Ren Walters on pick and finger-picked guitar and Scott McConnachie on alto and sopranino sax. He did a great job, again wildly atonal but wonderfully formed phrasing and with a sopranino tone t die for, so rich and full. The second band was a mix of brass and deep strings. Johan Moir on bass and Judith Harmann on cello, variously playing open accompaniment or following leads from the brass and fascinating sparing trumpet pair of our local Miro and Austrian Franz Hautzinger. I reckon trumpet is by nature a melodic instrument and we got that here from both players, but also slathers and exclamations and counterpoints and flashes. A seriously interesting interplay from two expert trumpeters and a few very interesting sets.

Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Adam Pultz-Melbye(bass), Ren Walters (guitar) and Scott McConnachie (alto, sopranino saxes) played a set at SoundOut 2018. So did Miroslav Bukovsky and Franz Hautzinger (trumpets) with Johan Moir (bass) and Judith Harmann (cello).

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