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ASYNCHRONOUS

Artist: Fred van Hove

Date of Release: 01/04/2010

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 283

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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Track Listing

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Appearances by

Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers

Another famous Belgian, Fred van Hove, a true giant of the piano, recorded live at The Europa Jazz Festival, Le Mans in May 2008. Paul Dunmall fronting on tenor sax with favourite sidemen Paul Rogers bass and Paul Lytton drums.

The abstract feeling artwork of the booklet is from a photo of some colourful graffiti taken by artist Andy Isham on his travels through the canals of central England.

 

Reviews

 

18/01/2011 Jason Bivins

A wonderful, inventive, and dare I say soulful festival date from some heavyweight improvisers. Van Hove and Lytton make for a very nice mixup here, contrasting their quirkier energies with the lust and bellow of Dunmall and Rogers. Not to say the latter two are without subtleties, because in fact they’re wonderful in that regard. But this is simply to say that they possess a tendency toward, shall we say, the earthen while the pianist and percussionist are more liquid to my ears. Still, it’s not important to fixate on this contrast since this is such wonderful group music, with each player sympathetic, generous, and imaginative. There are precious few of the burly blowouts that can so often constitute coasting in a lengthy festival set like this. There’s motivic pursuit, texture abounding, a regular frisson, but no mindless shifting into high gear. Rather there’s a giving over to the momentum of sound, finding a place in it, and exploring its dimensions from there. They do this from the soft forest sounds that open the long title track—gently clacking percussion, a susurrus through the mouthpiece—through exhilarating passages where Van Hove moves from windchime delicacy to thunder, where Dunmall moves from a throaty holler to what sounds like almost a hint of “Confirmation,” music that even at its most spiky and intense never simply floods every available corner of space. It’s fascinating to listen to the meaningful details in Lytton’s and Rogers’ playing too, shaping and building as things flow along, the whole suddenly coalescing as rhapsody in the piece’s closing minutes. The quarter-hour “Moves” is crisp, succinct, and a bit biting. Again, Rogers’ metallic energy is quite compelling, with Lytton contrasting with all kinds of dry sounds. Then the piece arrives at a moment of stunning sympathy, as the group rocks back and forth on a shared interval. Wonderful music.Jason Bivins Cadence, J – March 2011

 

01/11/2010  Ken Waxman,

One-quarter of the cooperative British quartet Mujician, Dunmall performs in top-form on Asynchronous, a live date with a similarly constituted band. Here Dunmall on tenor saxophonist is joined by Mujician-mate Paul Rogers, with his distinctive 7-string bass, as well as veteran Antwerp-based pianist Fred Van Hove, and English drummer Paul Lytton, a long-time collaborator of saxophonist Evan Parker. Lytton’s percussion discussion spread over his kit and various add-ons. is the epitome of European finesse. Although eminently capable of thick pounding when called for, say to counter fiercely accelerating licks from Van Hove, the drummer’s usual approach joins rasps, drags, strokes and flaps on a woodblock, unattached cymbals and drum tops, and with a judicious application of shuffle beats and rim shots calms down the fortissimo friction from other players.
All this is stunningly apparent during Asynchronous’ nearly 47-minute title track. Building on a foundation of thick stopping double bass lines, metronomic chording and swirling cadences from the pianist, plus wood pops and skittering textures from Lytton, Dunmall expels intense split tones with all his body weight behind them. Answered by continuous chording from Van Hove, the two continue to challenge each other in a broken-octave interface. As the saxman pumps out chorus after chorus of widely splayed guttural honks, the pianist moves from using contrasting dynamics on the keys to reaching inside the piano to stop, stroke and otherwise animate the strings. With Lytton maintaining some delicacy by rapping a small bell with a wire brush, Dunmall turns from nephritic pitch spreading to an unaccompanied version of boudoir slurs and tonguing. Establishing symmetry through Rogers’ passing thumps and the drummer’s flams and rebounds, Dunmall’s flashing altissimo runs and Van Hove’s kinetic cadences, the four reach a climax in due course. However while there is some tension-release at that point, it’s evident that they’ve paused to regroup. Soon, and until the conclusion, further connective and contrapuntal patterns emerge including pile-driver chording from Van Hove; ruffs and rebounds from Lytton; sul tasto runs and shuffle bowing from Rogers; and – surmounting all other textures – Dunmall spewing unconnected flutters and staccato tongue slaps.
Ken Waxman, November 2010 http://www.jazzword.com/review/127247

 

01/11/2010 Ed Hazell

Pianist Fred Van Hove, tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall, bassist Paul Rogers, and drummer Paul Lytton are an experienced, polished quartet of improvisers and that is perhaps both their great strength and their weakness. One can’t help but admire how effortlessly they work together, how precisely they express themselves, and the elegance and energy of the overall performance. At the same time, a certain structural fatigue sets in during the 45-minute improvisation that takes up most of the album. The music begins in anticipatory quiet, builds and subsides, builds and subsides, until you can almost anticipate the next direction they’ll take after each climax. It’s a common enough form for a free improvisation to take, but it seems overly familiar. It’s as if they fell into the advance-recede shape out of habit. Of course, Coltrane could play “My Favorite Things” or Bird could play “Ornithology” hundreds of times and usually find something fresh to say each time. And that is certainly the case here. They are indeed resourceful musicians and there are moments of extraordinary beauty and occasional surprise throughout the performance. Everything fits together so well. Anyone can take on a lead role in the melody, rhythm, texture, or color of any given passage. They all make interesting choices of what to contribute at any given time, whether it’s a contrasting element, a sound that helps blend and thicken the sound, or dropping out entirely and letting others develop the spontaneous composition. Perhaps because of its shorter length, “Moves” sounds more purposeful. It’s certainly more homogenous. Taken at a brisk tempo for the most part, it barrels along with only minor fluctuations in the energy level. The momentum carries the band forward without sacrificing any of the subtle judgments that give their music such lovely detail. This is the kind of album that path breakers make late in their careers – music of great refinement, rather than great innovation.
-Ed Hazell http://www.pointofdeparture.org

 

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