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Natsuki Tamura / Alexander Frangenheim — Nax
(Creative Sources CS 280 CD, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-16

Nax Cover artGerman bassist Frangenheim has been active in the European improvised music scene for over two decades, having played with the likes of Phil Minton, Johannes Bauer, and many others, and currently plays in two trios, one with Chris Burn and Axel Dörner, and another with Roger Turner and Isabelle Duthoit, as well as leading his own quartet with Thomas Lehn, Le Quan Ninh, and Frederic Blondy. Trumpeter Tamura, now based in Germany, should be familiar to Exposé readers via the many releases we have covered for his outstanding solo work, various collaborations with pianist Satoko Fujii, mostly operating within jazz idioms, but also with a distinct Euro-folk flavor in the long-running quartet Gato Libre, and in the avant-garde quartet Kaze with Peter Orins and Christian Pruvost. With Nax we find these two improvisers in a completely free setting – free of any compositional framework, beyond any recognizable musical genre, and playing their respective instruments at the very edge of the sounds, techniques, and textures one typically might expect. This is more a series of free-form sonic events created in spirited collaboration. The bass is bowed, scratched, plucked, and used as a percussive soundboard, the trumpet squeaking, whistling, squawking, and making other flatulent sounds, occasionally sounding more like wild animal and bird calls than anything remotely melodic one would hear from a trumpet. The ten cuts here cover generally similar territory, some are quiet, others more aggressive, but all are about as out-there as it gets. While none of the material here is particularly abrasive, there’s little that survives in memory beyond the immediate moment.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Natsuki Tamura

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