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Narcéte

Artist: Erika Dagnino

Date of Release: 05/10/2012

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 542

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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Presenting the poetry music work of the Anglo- Italian quartet: the very talented Italian poet Erika Dagnino with her ‘beautiful, strong and clear voice’ (as Peter Brötzmann, among others, said), the Italian violinist Stefano Pastor, winner at Top Jazz 2010 and 2011, the English musicians George Haslam and Steve Waterman,
Narcéte represents the natural connection between poetry and music, two very close arts that express themselves with sound, rhythm and consonance. A work in which expression and speaking about expression cross each other: the art, in its making, declaredly talks about itself.
A work in which, as the critic and journalist Gennaro Fucile says in the liner notes: ‘None of the two elements here finds itself subjected to the other, and this is the key to this work, a happy junction of different voices where instrumental improvisations and words stand respectful of each other’, where ‘Each of the four artists contributed evenly to the final outcome; in a careful succession of sounds, words and silence.’.

 

Reviews

 

05/06/2013 Rotcod Zzaj

Both lyrical and free in nature, the etched, post-Coleman/Cherry interplay of Pastor, Waterman and Haslam offers appropriate, now provocative, now abstractly swinging frames for the philosophically inclined musings of Italian poet Dagnino. As far as can be imagined from the mellow "dream deferred" blues of Langston Hughes (but not that far from the protestation of Kenneth Patchen) her 10 post-Beckett-and-Cage prose-poem "chants" (printed in the sleeve) are delivered in the sort of impassioned yet flat English which should appeal to followers of the Fluxus art movement.
Michael Tucker Jazz Journal Dec 2012


Erika Dagnino, Stefano Pastor, George Haslam, Steve Waterman – NARCETE: You will need to be in a certain “frame of mind” to enjoy this music… “Chant I” will give you a pretty fair idea of what you’re about to encounter on this splendid 10-song spoken-word and improv adventure! I’ve been reviewing a lot of violin work from Stefano & I imagine that’s how this particular outing wound up in my review box. From a strictly “jazz” perspective, I expect many listeners will enjoy pieces like “Chant III” more than others. The highlight of all these works is that they blend musical and spoken voices together into a quite comprehensible roller-coaster ride for the listener who demands a taste of the insane in the listening experience. For those types of listeners (tho’ not for more “conventional” types), this one gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information at the SLAM Productions pages. Rotcod Zzaj http://rotcodzzaj.com/wordpress/?page_id=3884

 

01/06/2013 Jack Kenny

Erika Dagnino (poetry, voice); Stefano Pastor (violin, bass); George Haslam (baritone sax, tarogato; Steve Waterman (trumpet)
Buy this for Steve Waterman exploring the trumpet with a freedom that is absent when he is in a more conventional setting.
George Haslam in addition to the baritone also plays a tarogato (looks like a clarinet and sounds like a bag pipe). Combined with Stefano Pastor on violin and bass they make some wonderful sounds and textures.
Then we come to Erika Dagnino, the Italian poet. Poetry and jazz has been tempting people since before the 1950s. Erika has not been deterred by the partial successes that have littered the years since Kerouac first attempted to work with Steve Allen.
Getting the balance right between the words and the music is the goal. It is even more important here because Dagnino’s stern voice and accent makes little attempt to work with the music. Thankfully her words are reproduced on the album notes. You have to admire her chutzpah. Has anything been lost in translation? Is it great or even good poetry? Who knows? But to this listener the words and music seem to go together like Coltrane and Bublé
The experience reminded me of a concert in the Albert Hall in the 1960s. I remember seeing Yoko Ono work with Ornette Coleman. Ornette won.
A limited success then? Yes, but worth having for Haslam and Waterman.

Reviewed by Jack Kenny June 2013 http://jazzviewscdreviews.weebly.com/

 

22/10/2012 Mark Buttafuoco

Il jazz ha suggerito alla sensibilità ed alla cultura dei nostri tempi, una
lunga serie di rovesciamenti di prospettive e di valori. Fra i tanti esempi
possibili c'è quello dell'uso della voce umana. Fin dalle origini, ancor prima
di Louis Armstrong, la pratica dell'improvvisazione scat aveva trasformato puri
e semplici fonemi in stralunata poesia. In qualche maniera il jazz ha quindi
riportato la poesia stessa alla sua natura primordiale di fenomeno orale, e
musicale, prima ancora che scritto. Molti artisti hanno lavorato su questa
suggestione. Per tutti citeremo Jack Kerouac, senza tuttavia dimenticare gli
infuocati reading di Amiri Baraka. Su questi sentieri si muovono, già da anni,
i genovesi Erika Dagnino, poetessa e performer, e Stefano Pastor violinista e
polistrumentista (ma il suo violino ha spesso il respiro degli strumenti a
fiato). Narcéte è l' ultima tappa della loro ricerca (Slam Production). Con
loro in questo cd suonano anche due musicisti inglesi: il trombettista Steve
Waterman e George Haslam, che improvvisa con il sax baritono ed il tarogato.
Non è un reading in senso stretto. Non è la lettura di un testo commentata da
una musica. La voce e i versi della Dagnino, sono invece parte essenziale di un
ardente e radicale percorso di improvvisazione, nel quale non esistono
gerarchie di sorta. Potremmo dire che Narcéte è un lungo racconto dalla trama
sottile, l'evocazione di paesaggi e solitudini indicibili, la memoria di ferite
antiche che bruciano e sanguinano tanto nella musica quanto nella voce della
Dagnino. Si sente la storia del jazz sperimentale in Narcéte. Ma anche, e
soprattutto il vento del blues. Un'arte che raccontava (e racconta), lo
sradicamento, l'indeterminatezza, la precarietà di ogni esistenza.
Marco Buttafuoco, 22 ottobre 2012 pubblicato nell'edizione Nazionale (pagina
18)

Jazz has suggested that the sensitivity and culture of our times, a
long series of reversals of perspectives and values. Among the many examples
is possible that the use of the human voice. From the beginning, even before
Louis Armstrong, the practice of improvisation scat had turned pure
simple and phonemes in bewildering poetry. Somehow jazz has therefore
reported the poem itself to its primordial nature of oral phenomenon, and
music, even before written. Many artists have worked on this
suggestion. For all quote Jack Kerouac, without forgetting the
fiery reading of Amiri Baraka. Of these paths move, for years,
the Genoese Erika Dagnino, poet and performer, and violinist Stefano Pastor and
multi-instrumentalist (violin but his breath often has the tools to
breath). Narcéte 's the last stage of their research (Slam Production). with
them in this cd also play two English musicians: trumpeter Steve
Waterman and George Haslam, who improvises with baritone sax and Tarogato.
It is not a reading in the strict sense. It is not the reading of a text commentary by
music. The voice and the verses of Dagnino, are an essential part of a
ardent and radical path of improvisation, in which there is no
hierarchies of sorts. We could say that is a long story Narcéte the plot
thin, the evocation of landscapes and unspeakable loneliness, the memory of wounds
old that burn and bleed so much in the music as the voice of
Dagnino. You can feel the history of jazz experimental Narcéte. But also, and
especially the wind of the blues. An art that told (and told), the
eradication, indeterminacy, the precarious nature of all existence.
Mark Buttafuoco, October 22, 2012 published in the National (page
18)

 

01/10/2012 Dustin Mallory

The sonically intense Narcéte is a multi-disciplinary
collection of chants released by four artists of the
avant-garde. This quartet uses an odd combination of
instruments to weave their contrapuntal sonorities into
a conceptual blanket of sound. The spoken-word artist,
Dagnino, has had her poems translated into English for
this special recording. Dagnino’s word-painting juxtaposes
her stimulating poems with the fast-paced, yet subtle
interactions of the ensemble. Phrases like “rat poison”
and “unhappy people” reveal a humble author whose
poems are not created to be brilliant literature, but do
create an overwhelming effect when mixed with the
ensemble. However, the topical nature of each poem
stretches the imagination into areas of religion,
mortality, and androgyny. Most of the chants begin
with an instrumental introduction before the poem
begins.
The ensemble usually finds itself in very fast-paced
improvisations that are frequently tonally- centered in
some way, but allow the instruments to venture out.
“Chant III” introduces a bass line that appears to be
walking, and an adventurous trumpet language that
suggests bebop, but the music often derives as much of
its influence from Western Art Music as it does anything
else. The timbre of the tarogato is very course and
almost sounds like a plastic saxophone, but the effect is
awe-inspiring and creates just the right temperament
for the performance. The recording quality does seem
to bog the experience down a little, though. One
high spot comes when the word “mortality” in “Chant
VII” leaves the listener hanging on the edge before
painting a macabre, yet somehow attractive, vision of
a thunderstorm where “Love is drowned with martyr
fingers.”
Dustin Mallory http://www.cadencejazzmagazine.com/membersonly/admin/assets/cadencejan2013twopages.pdf

 

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