Liebman, Rudolph & Drake — Chi
(RareNoise RNR102, 2019, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-09-08
In 2018, we found Dave Liebman and Adam Rudolph collaborating with Tatsuya Nakatani on a fascinating album called The Unknowable. Chi brings Liebman and Rudolph together with Hamid Drake, a drummer and percussionist who has worked extensively with Rudolph over the course of many decades. And while Chi is often a free-floating sonic stew, Drake’s drum kit provides a more punch and less meditation than Nakatani’s subtle colorations using gongs. At times, the music is downright propulsive, as on the 13-minute “Flux,” where the two percussionists build up many layers of rhythm. Liebman is free to roam without the constraints of changes other than the ones implied by his melodies. Soprano sax is his most frequent horn this time out, with tenor and wooden recorder in the mix; he also contributes piano on one track. Rudolph also plays piano on one track, plus sintir, bits of vocalizing, and electronic processing. Drake supplements his kit with percussion of various kinds and vocals. Rudolph and Drake’s long association pays off in the way they drift in and out of sync, locking into a shared groove for a while, then breaking it up with either free playing or rhythms that are removed from the basic pattern. Chi was recorded live in a single evening, fully improvised, and captured in amazing clarity. It’s hard to believe that this represents the first time the trio had ever shared a stage together, but the marvellous result has been captured for all time.
Related artist(s): Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures / Go: Organic Orchestra, Dave Liebman, Hamid Drake
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