“We hope this album will help to put Brussels on the map of improvised music” writes Jean-Michel Van Schowburg at the end of his presentation of “Cardo”. Indeed this effort will do, being a beautiful document of various emancipated instrumental/vocal conversations – duos, trios and quartets – by an aggregate of Belgian musicians who, over the years, had access to Collectif Inaudible and BROL (BRuocsela Orchestra Libera), two structures allowing them free expression and a better knowledge of their uniqueness both as artists and as human beings. The most recurring name here is pianist, clarinettist and percussionist Guy Strale who, together with Van Schowburg, contributed to the foundations of the whole movement; the large part of these pieces is on the restrained side of the improvisational spectrum, with the musicians in “careful reciprocal listening” attitude, just anxious to perceive what their partners are willing to communicate. My favourite track is a quartet with Strale on piano, Jean-Jacques Duerinckx on baritone sax, Pat Riské on percussion and Fabrizio Rota on synthesizer; its title, “Aigue-Marine”, is the perfect indication of a sound which truly connects with distant memories and introspective tranquillity. But the whole “Cardo” brims with authenticity and fellow-feeling.


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