EARL HOWARD – Strong Force


A fascinating record by a quintet of great performers: Anthony Davis – piano, Gerry Hemingway – percussion, Anne Le Baron – harp and Ernst Reijseger – cello plus the leader, Earl Howard, on synthesizer. The forms created by the group are virtually undescribable, since this is a kind of composition sounding extremely free, so that it could be easily mistaken for free improvisation. Single instrumental voices are never predominant, even if it’s easy paying a little more attention when Le Baron’s plucking fingers evoke sparkling lights in the obscurity; anyway, all the five pieces on the CD are homogeneous to the maximum level, mixing very well with my surroundings and allowing a kind of listening that doesn’t need cranking up the volume. Oddly, the music’s dynamics tend to diminish noticeably in the last two tracks – the shortest ones – where the quintet comes to an almost silent conversation, ending in the nothingness from where everything took off. Uneasy, provocative, evolved material; great musicianship all over.


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