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OVERHEARD CONVERSATIONS

Artist: Glen Hall

Date of Release: 21/04/2014

Catalogue no: SLAMCD552

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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Appearances by

Bernie Koenig, Bernie Koenig

“OVERHEARD CONVERSATIONS”
SLAMCD 552. BARCODE 5028386055228

Glen Hall, soprano & tenor saxes, flute and bass flute; Bernie Koenig, drums and vibraphone.

This first SLAM CD by Canadian duo Hall and Koenig is a studio recording from August 2013 with 11 tracks of impromptu improvisation and “For George”, a Koenig original. The improvised tracks bear titles taken from typical snippets of overheard conversation as would be heard in a bar or restaurant; the mood of the music reflecting the snatched phrase.
The ‘George’ in Koenig’s composition was Gershwin, who was also a topic of an overheard conversation

Within the confines of the wind and percussion combination the duo explores a surprising range of textures and composition extended by their choice and range of instruments in different combinations.

 

Reviews

 

10/11/2014 Ken Waxman

A reflective and comfortable musical conversation between reeds and percussion, the dozen brief duets by Toronto saxophonist/flutist Glen Hall and drummer/vibraphonist Bernie Koenig from London, Ontario have all the hallmarks of overheard dialogue. Some interjections are predictably of paramount interest to those involved; others, which stretch the capacities of the instruments and musicians, are as insightful as discussions from more formally organized sessions. Seemingly recorded in real time, luckily the discourse intensifies as it evolves.
While Hall gradually defines his parameters with tenor and soprano saxophone slurs and smears via John Coltrane’s influence, Koenig’s drum pulses are a bit more rigid, not really coming into strong focus until – and perhaps because of – “Time for a Stiff Drink.” Mixing martial-like ruffs with supple rolls, he meets Hall’s mellow elaborations head on and effectively. From then on sound snatches capture a wide-ranging conversation. Snaky bass flute timbres countered by off-centre plops suggest Arabic music on Trust Me, while rugged reed split tones attain screaming heights on “Things Are Looking Up” though the drummer’s carefully paced beats keep the theme chromatic. Additionally the whap of sticks on Mylar and wood during “Look at Her!” insinuate two percussionists at work as Hall’s altissimo snarls create a fanciful verbalization of overbearing Buddy Rich strokes backing “Caravan” played by Albert Ayler.
Like old friends winding down their conversation before they part, the reedist and percussionist save their excursions into chamber jazz for the last few duets. With Koenig’s sparkling vibraphone strokes attaining sonorous swing, the unique multi-colours Hall sources from his flute on tunes such as “I Understand Why You Are So Melancholy” reflect the skills of these sophisticated communicators who can comfortably express emotions instrumentally.
Ken Waxman file:///C:/Users/me/Downloads/TheWholeNote-2003-November2014-Full_small_83.pdf

 

01/07/2014 Rotcod Zzaj

I believe you’ll be amazed at the fluidity with which these reed/drum/vibraphone conversations are conducted. Pieces like “The News Isn’t Good” make you feel just like the title of the conversation indicates… anticipating! “Look At Her” will make you stand up & take notice, no doubt about it. Glen’s reeds join Bernie’s drums/vibes in a very pleasurable improv session that you won’t soon forget – and will, in fact, find yourself coming back to often. The vibes on “Things Are Looking Up” made it my favorite piece (it’s also the longest, so maybe that had something to do with it). At any rate, for listeners who love improv, this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97. Get more information at the Slam Productions page for this release. Rotcod Zzaj http://rotcodzzaj.com/wordpress/?page_id=4956

 

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