(Psi)

Differently from the norm – and due to economic circumstances that have, for the moment, caused the festival to be suspended – the recorded volume of FZA 2007 is completely taken by a grand total of three musicians: Angeli on Sardinian guitar and electronics, Parker on tenor and soprano sax, Rothenberg on alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet; namely, the only souls who performed in this edition, in different combinations. The shaman-sounding gyratory trances of Rothenberg’s clarinet and Angeli’s now agitated, now barely perceptible discordant figurations on the strings of his modified instrument generate moments of intense interaction, nous and uplifting intellectual capacity at work throughout “Shield (Blue) Duo I”, one of the most lyrical improvisations featured on this label. As Rothenberg and Parker lock horns in the successive track, their tussle mutates into a string of concentrated exchanges only to return to fighting stance in the space of ten seconds, each of the parts following an individual logic that, miraculously, lubricates the mechanisms of a mutual instant decision perfectly. The rest of the program finds the artists performing as a trio, where Angeli might be seen offering a substratum of plucked, stretched, lightly scintillating notes upon which rather uptight call-and-response episodes occur between the reed-gifted parties, intent in locating the right spots to insert droplets of clever-minded procedural expertise that rules out self-importance. Occasionally the guitarist – often overwhelmed by the saxophonists in the mix – comes in dramatically, outbursts of arcoed chords and chamber-like contrapuntal premeditations shifting the listener’s awareness towards the vibration of that mass while linear interrelations keep going on according to an ever-present, lucidly abnormal common sense. Elsewhere he acts as a percussionist, trying to establish pseudo-tribal patterns amidst “tone, squeal and stroke” proposals, or introduces sampled snippets of soundtracks from old movies – or are them? – to add a patina of recollection to the recipe, this radiophonic temperament functioning as basis for Parker and Rothenberg’s attempts of building momentum with hyperactive fusillades alternated to profound melodic intuitions. If that couple of bionic chirpers is a stable presence in my life as an adherent of the free music sect, this particular recording makes your reviewer genuinely glad for having found, at long last, another Italian musician to be proud of.

Advertisements