INSTINCTUAL EYE – Born In Brooklyn

(Barking Hoop)

Kevin Norton tells us that in free improvisation “the tone color of the instruments is of prime importance”; this album, one of the best Barking Hoop outings, certainly confirms this. The fierce contrasts between freeform chamber music and complex atonal jazz arising from the association of Norton himself, Frode Gjerstad and Nick Stephens are enough to classify “Born in Brooklyn” as a genderless textural trip through the meanders of contemporary impromptu music. Recorded live at Barbés in Brooklyn – the percussionist’s birthplace – the CD portraits the multifaceted talents of three artists whose technical sapience is just a means to an extremely creative end. The elastic brilliance of Norton on drums and vibes launches these spontaneous compositions towards altitudes which only masters with a unique vision can embrace; Gjerstad’s enthusiastic playing on sax and clarinet is malleable and revelatory at one and the same time, while Stephens’ beautiful arco underlines the most intriguing sections, while his fingered phrasing constitutes the backbone of short bursts of total freedom. Instinctual Eye are a six-leg, one-heart creature whose language must be patiently translated in order to achieve the maximum listening pleasure.


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