JEFF ARNAL / DIETRICH EICHMANN – Live In Hamburg

(Brokenresearch)

The object of this review is a 35-minute LP released in 2007 in a limited edition of 200 copies. It comes from a concert held by Eichmann (piano) and Arnal (percussion) in November 2004 at Hamburg’s Christianskirche, in the occasion of the Phenomorphonic Festival. The contents were totally improvised, even if they do possess all the qualities of a series of compositions, or maybe a single one divided in several movements. Scrutinizing the whole I couldn’t manage to find a moment of “violence” throughout the performance; everything remains dynamically confined in areas where “obscurity” and “ebullience” seem to be the keywords for the musicians’ approach to the context. Ever since the beginning, Eichmann stays for long spots in the lower region of the piano keyboard, basically offering a percussive contribution to the percussionist himself. The personalities – and their reciprocal relationships – start to emerge more clearly as the time flows, two different instrumental voices showing unique characteristics in slightly changing settings. The rare solo spots don’t modify the general sense of restraint that the music offers, the reason at the basis of the good results obtained by the pair. Improvisational segments that sound quite introvert, circumspect in a way, certainly well planned, as absurd as this concept might appear. A release that – for want of a better description – “swims underwater” to gain our approval, successfully.

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