Pascal Niggenkemper featuring Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver | Upcoming Hurricane | No Business Records

Pascal Niggenkemper – double bass | Simon Nabatov – piano | Gerald Cleaver – drums

Recorded on March 16, 2010 by Christian Heck at Loft in Köln. Mixed on October 30, 2010 by Christian Heck at Tonart Studio in Kerpen-Horrem. Mastered on December 29, 2010 by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios in Brooklyn. Design by Oskaras Anosovas. Producer – Danas Mikailionis. Co-producer – Valerij Anosov

Tracklist: LP Side A – 1. Pusteblume 2. Upcoming hurricane   3. Arbol de piedra Side B – 4. Aeolus 5. Fighting the mill   6. Mongolfiere

Tracklist CD: 1. Pusteblume 4:38 2. Upcoming hurricane 11:44 3. Arbol de piedra 5:53 4. Aeolus 5:14 5. Fighting the mill 11:10 6. Rahonavis 4:56 7. Mongolfiere 7:49

This recording is dedicated to Patricia Boulet

Pascal Niggenkemper

UPCOMING HURRICANE

is a new group in a traditional form, a particular concatenation of musicians that gelled with remarkable speed and which brings its own strong personality to the idea of the piano trio. It has a layered rhythmic dynamism that comes directly from the tradition and the exploding, unfettered energy of free improvisation. It was the young bassist Pascal Niggenkemper’s idea to put together this band with the brilliant veterans Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver, and it’s a sign of both Niggenkemper’s skills and his prescience that the group possesses the depth, vitality and vision that it has.

For his part, Niggenkemper emphasizes the importance of this recording for his own voice: “This recording was important for me. It is a step to free myself up and to give the listener something that can’t be measured or evaluated, with no pre-thoughts or compositions or grids. I need to go beyond that. This is a record that follows intuition. It’s a rite–a communication that is very direct, avoiding preconceived ideas, patterns or cliché. That’s why it is related to something mystical, personal. If you take out the musical vocabulary, the trio plays music that could have been played by our ancestors.”

Listening to the playbacks, Niggenkemper kept coming back to the group’s special sense of movement, finding in the idea of wind a force that “reflects the spirit of our recording, a natural power that can be found in the trio’s communication. It’s a metaphor that reflects the way we communicate: sometimes very dense and strong over long passages, sometimes light, changing the texture. Furthermore we’re all from different continents and cultures: wind can be seen as a vehicle or link that connects us. It’s also a universal metaphor for freedom which we aim for in the improvisations. The idea of the wind corresponds to my aspiration to communicate freely with other musicians.”

Each of Niggenkemper’s striking titles invokes another element of wind and the closely related idea of flight, until one realizes that this afternoon of improvised dialogues is in itself a coherent suite, a set of inspirations passed back and forth as three remarkable improvisers become a band. “Pusteblume,“ which grows from Niggenkemper’s beautiful arco introduction (his tone hints initially at a soprano saxophone), is the blow-ball of a dandelion, the sudden explosion in air of new seed. “Upcoming Hurricane” may be self-explanatory, but the extended improvisation goes to the core of this group’s identity, first suggesting to this reviewer the parallel of Money Jungle, by the singular trio of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Here there’s a similar energy and a similar sense of dialogue, growing to a mounting tempest of musical lines with Niggenkemper’s almost vocal bass (“Mingus is my hero,” he exclaims, when I mention the resemblance) chewing through the thunder and lightning of the piano and drums.

“Arbol de PIedra” refers to a startling rock formation in Bolivia in which the wind has blown away the surrounding sand to reveal a rock that bears remarkable resemblance to a tree. “Aeolus”, invoking the god of the winds in Greek mythology, is the sole composed figure here. Nabatov takes the initial phrase and builds it into a vast edifice that ultimately collapses at once into chaos and lyricism. “Fighting the Mill,” referring to Don Quixote’s adventure with the windmill, shows the trio’s talent for extended timbral development, a looming resonance joining piano strings, bowed bass and the light-filled touch of Cleaver’s cymbals in which all is a kind of anticipation.

“Rahonavis,” named for a small and bird-like dinosaur, may suggest flight in the very spaciousness that the three manage to develop, parts developing in isolation then suddenly converging, one musician’s phrase suddenly spinning into collective movement. “Mongolfière” refers to the French balloon and the dawn of manned flight, fitting metaphor for the way the trio takes flight here, and fitting image for the way the group is able to play at the limits of control—making sustained flights that continue to develop a sense of expanding coherence.

Listening to the sparks ignited in the group’s first meeting that afternoon in Köln testifies both to the group’s creative spontaneity and its special potential. — Stuart Broomer

Gerald CleaverGerald Cleaver is one of the New York jazz scene’s leading drummer/composers, who covers a wide range of stylistic ground. Having played with jazz masters Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Ray Bryant as well as the leading lights of the AACM, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith and Henry Threadgill, he is a product of many traditions within creative music. Cleaver is best known for his associations with Roscoe Mitchell, Charles Gayle, Miroslav Vitous, Mario Pavone, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Joe Morris, Jeremy Pelt, Craig Taborn and Yaron Herman. He is also the leader of the bands Uncle June (a reflection on the personal and familial challenges of Black Americans during The Great Migration featuring TonyMalaby, Andrew Bishop, Mat Maneri, Craig Taborn and Drew Gress), Violet Hour (a tribute to Detroit featuring Jeremy Pelt, JD Allen, Andrew Bishop, Ben Waltzer and Chris Lightcap) and Farmers By Nature (a free-improvising collective co-led with bassist William Parker and pianist Craig Taborn). Much more on Gerald Cleaver can be found on his web page by clicking here…

Simon NabatovSimon Nabatov’s musical education began at the age of 3, his father, himself a musician, being the first teacher. The Central School of Music and Moscow Conservatory were the next steps. After the whole family emigrated and settled in New York in 1979, Nabatov continued his studies at the Juilliard School Of Music. By that time his interest and involvement in jazz and improvised music grew strong enough to make them his main activity. Since then he performed and recorded with many fine musicians such as Paul Motian, Tony Scott, Sonny Fortune, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Skidmore, Herb Robertson, Louis Sclavis, Charles McPhearson, Billy Hart, David Murray, Paul Horn, Ricki Ford, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Dresser, Jim Snidero, Herb Geller, Dave Pike, Attila Zoller, Matthias Schubert, Barry Altschul, Vladimir Tarasov, John Betsch, Ed Schuller, Arto Tuncboyaci, Adam Nussbaum, Jay Clayton, Ron McClure, Mark Feldman, Drew Gress, Phil Minton, Michael Moore, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, Wolter Wierbos and many others. He enjoyed continuous work with Ray Anderson Quartet, Arthur Blythe Quartet, NDR Big Band (Hamburg,Germany), Steve Lacy – Simon Nabatov Duo, Perry Robinson Quartet, Nils Wogram Quartet, Nils Wogram – Simon Nabatov Duo, Matthias Schubert Quartet, Matthias Schubert – Simon Nabatov Duo, Klaus König Orchestra. Much more on Simon Nabatov can be found on his web page by clicking here…

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7 thoughts on “Pascal Niggenkemper featuring Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver | Upcoming Hurricane | No Business Records

  1. One of the great things of having more people to review all the albums that land on Stef’s desk is that less great music falls through the cracks. This is what nearly happened to one of my favorite 2011 records, Pascal Niggenkemper’s “Upcoming Hurricane”. Here Niggenkemper, one of the most virtuosic and promising bass players of the younger improv generation, is joined by Simon Nabatov on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums and together they have created one of the most fascinating piano trio albums I have heard in the last few years.

    In the end “Upcoming Hurricane” is a marvelous album about the wind as a creative and destructive force. It begins with “Pusteblume” (the German word for dandelion clock), which sounds like a swarm of bees on a summer meadow. Niggenkemper is developing the track with an arco introduction accompanied by Cleaver just using his brush, the atmosphere is peaceful and quiet until Nabatov enters the scene. He is playing inside the piano and the whole sound changes immediately, he drops the notes like spots – there is still a summer breeze but it announces something dark.

    And this is about to happen in the title track. Obviously a gloomy danger is on the way, Nabatov is playing clusters in the low registers (and he will hardly leave them during the entire piece) and Niggenkemper is supporting him while Cleaver is being jolty and spurring on at the same time. The album has been compared to “Money Jungle”, the seminal album by Ellington, Mingus and Roach. But especially this track reminds me more of Cecil Taylor’s Feel Trio as to improvisation, profoundness, ingenuity, and vision. It is the central piece of the album, it is impulsive, powerful and energetic, often close to the edge of falling apart (but of course it never does).

    The next track “Arbol de Piedra” (Stone Tree) refers to a natural miracle in Bolivia where the wind has created a strange rock formation. Compared to the preceding track it is completely lyrical, actually lovely and charming with a recurring piano theme, as if nature was recovering from the hurricane. But the image is deceptive, dissonant piano sounds contradict the idyllic scenery.

    “Aeolus” (the god of winds in Greek mythology) clearly uses composed elements, with Nabatov playing a theme he takes on at the end of the track. The group takes off for a wild ride here representing all different aspects of the wind – swirling, dancing, ripping, menacing. While this is clearly Nabatov’s track (with a lot of Taylor reminiscences again), “Fighting the Mill” belongs to Niggenkemper. At first the track follows a similar structure as “Pusteblume” starting with a mumbling bass before the others fall in transforming it into a massive natural monolith. It changes its structure every now and then, moving in different directions, hitting the listener with immensely heavy piano clusters, growling angrily in guttural fashion. The final track, “Mongolfière”, refers to the inventors of hot-air balloons and tells us about man’s adventure with the wind when he uses it to fly, in these days a rather anxious, albeit fascinating ride on the element. Again you can hear the Feel Trio – and you are listening to a brilliant unit, there is perfect interaction, freedom, and vitality.

    Pascal Niggenkemper said that playing together with Nabatov and Cleaver was “a step to free myself up and to give the listener something that can’t be measured or evaluated, with no pre-thoughts or compositions or grids. I need to go beyond that. This is a record that follows intuition.” The music speaks for itself.

  2. Since German/French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper moved to New York in 2005 he has become increasingly prominent on the contemporary scene. Alliances with Thomas Heberer’s Clarino on Klippe (Clean Feed, 2011), Joe Hertenstein’s HNH (Clean Feed, 2010), the cooperative polylemma (Red Toucan, 2011), and Jean Carla Rodea’s Azares, with whom he appeared at the 2010 Vision Festival, ensure a busy diary. Fortunately he still found time to wax Upcoming Hurricane with an accomplished multinational cast, completed by Russian pianist Simon Nabatov and American drummer Gerald Cleaver.

    Natural world metaphors come easily to mind when discussing the disc, helped not only by the suggestive title, but also the organically unfolding flow spread across the seven wholly improvised cuts. In spite of the bassist’s name on the marquee, it’s an egalitarian affair: no-one dominates and there are almost no solos. Cleaver comes closest with a throbbing polyrhythmic barrage to close out “Fighting the mill,” but even here dark piano chords add subtle counterpoint. All three are highly attuned to one another, united in unspoken synergy, whether in delicate colloquy or in furious extremis.

    Niggenkemper’s wiry presence holds it all together, his subterranean rumble transmuting at times into propulsive thrum, though he is at his most individual with his expressive bow work. On piano, Nabatov wields his prodigious technique judiciously for maximum effect, with a two-handed independence reminiscent of Craig Taborn (another frequent Cleaver collaborator), pitching sparkling runs against marching arpeggios on “Aeolus.” Cleaver trades in indeterminate rustling noise for much of the time, recalling his expressionistic displays with Farmers By Nature, but when animated, as on the title track, his drums tumble headlong alongside a quickening cymbal fizz.

    Contrasting programming ensures that the band covers a wide emotional range, from the mysterious stirrings of “Pustelblume” to the impending storm and choppy density of the standout “Upcoming hurricane.” In a typical change of pace, the following “Arbol de piedra” essays spare balladry, while elsewhere the contrapuntally careering “Rahonavis” precedes “Mongolfière,” initially spacey before gaining in both mass and momentum, abetted by Nabatov’s locomotive left hand. Niggenkemper has carved out a very strong outing, and raises hopes that this isn’t a one-off agglomeration.

  3. Spontaneity is enhanced by inspiration. That’s what bassist Pascal Niggenkemper proves with this CD, an original take on the classic jazz piano trio, recorded in one session in Cologne. The symmetry maintained between linear harmony and fanciful abstractions demonstrated on the seven tracks is also a result of to the equilibrium maintained among the French-German bassist who now lives in New York, and his associates – sidemen isn’t the word – who singly and together have been on hundreds of records.

    Inventive percussionist, Detroit-born Gerald Cleaver usually works with sound explorers such as saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and bassist William Parker, although his past experience includes gigging with mainstream piano masters such as Tommy Flanagan. No slouch on the keyboard himself, Russian-born, Cologne-based Simon Nabatov is a mercurial pianist, whose extended 10-year New York stint means he’s as likely to work regularly with Americans like drummer Tom Rainey as Europeans like saxophonist Frank Gratkowski. Niggenkemper is a member of interlocking Manhattan combos with unconventional instrumentation, so it’s instructive to note how his tough Mingus-styled string pops and scrubbed multiphonics fit in this traditional setting.

    Very well it turns out, since Niggenkemper gives free reign to everyone’s inventions; especially the pianist’s. Nabatov’s strategy for “Fighting the Mill”, for instance, involves tremolo rumbles plus strummed inner strings that mesh with the bassist’s woody rubs and the drummer’s off-handed syncopation. With all three playing continuously, Nabatov manages to create a lyrical narrative at the same time as skittering dynamics that could give Cecil Taylor pause.

    An equivalent muscularity is apparent on the title track, as Nabatov’s animated, polyrhythms moves from stentorian and fortissimo to suggest linear ballads. His touch is even more vigorously percussive than Cleaver’s understated clunks and pops. Overall though, it’s Niggenkemper’s unvarying walking that holds the piece together

    On other tracks the drummer’s kinetic ruffs and raps are given brief showcases as are the bassist’s acerbic sul tasto lines extensions. While Nabatov may take the bulk of the solos – as is common in this format – never does the performance seem unbalanced in his favor.

    With everyone contributing this Upcoming Hurricane is one which listeners can weather with pleasure.

  4. Intéressante session d’improvisation entre deux grands improvisateurs et un jeune contrebassiste sur cette petite étiquette lituanienne publiant ses albums en série limitée (dans ce cas, seulement 300 exemplaires). 2 longues pièces de 11 minutes et 5 pièces plus petites. Les musiciens alternent entre le silence, la délicatesse et la fureur, le plein de notes car c’est parfois très rapide, dense et free. Lorsque les trois musiciens s’éclatent (comme sur Hupcoming Hurricane, la pièce phare du disque par son ascension et sa fragilité), le piano est omniprésent, Nabatov appuyant lourdement sur les touches, cascadant comme lui seul sait le faire. Lors de ces passages, il devient plus difficile de cerner la contrebasse, elle devient presque un instrument à percussion tellement Niggenkemper pince les cordes pour y sortir du son. Par moment, l’archet sera utilisé lors des pièces plus silencieuses. À la batterie Cleaver est un maître des nuances, des pinceaux, de la force et de la polyrythmie. Trois musiciens à l’écoute l’un de l’autre dans un free bien mené, pas trop aride, juste ce qu’il faut. Belle exploration sonore entre le déchirement, la contemplation, la vitesse, la tempête, la terre ferme, l’envol, le calme…

  5. I was already familiar with Pascal Niggenkemper’s work as a result of the release, Klippe by Thomas Heberer, early this summer and a superb trio with Robin Verheyen and Tyshawn Sorey, PN Trio. So this was always going to be an exciting adventure to see what his new trio would put forth. And the new album, Upcoming Hurricane, pretty much says it all. This is a heavy storm of sound that comes on quietly but resonates brightly over 60+ minutes.

    Clean, open and improvised, Niggenkemper is a brilliant performer but more importantly an astute and crafty composer and leader. Niggenkemper’s idea of space, wind and earth as a theme for exploring music is embedded throughout this session.

    The title track comes rolling in like a swarm of bees. The addition of Simon Nabatov (piano) provides a deeper and introspective outlook than PN Trio which was sax, bass and drums. Nabatov’s free formed pounding keys intersect with Cleaver’s pulsating drums and Niggenkemper’s expertly dense bowed bass making for an intense listen. But it unfolds beautifully in all its clattering glory. There a rising tempo that reaches an epic two thirds of the way through that you have to really hold on tight because things could get out of hand. And suddenly all three musicians release you as if you were never there.

    “Arbol de piedra” reverses the setting. It’s a piece with a lot of space and room for each member to interpret freely. Cleaver touches around the outside of Nabatov exploratory notes. While Niggenkemper floats in and out of the melody with dreamlike quality. It’s piece that allows the listen to think a dwell and become absorbed into the spaces between the notes.

    “Fighting The Mill” is Niggenkemper’s piece. It’s improvised yes but Nabatov and Cleaver add the chaos to talented bassists more cerebral movements on this number. The storm hits midway through as the trio goes off in different directions while somehow still holding your attention as to what the next note might be. Exquisite execution by composer and trio. There’s even a small groove that develops about three minutes from time (I sensed it while listening on my headphones). It doesn’t last long and is a direct result of the free flowing atmosphere of the session that notes and ideas began to fold into one.

    Upcoming Hurricane along with Niggenkemper’s previous PN Trio are both excellent documents of this rich talented bassist with an ever-evolving palate of themes.

  6. La palabra viento, en su significado más habitual, designa a la “corriente de aire producida en la atmósfera por causas naturales” o “al movimiento en masa del aire en la atmósfera”; sin embargo, también existen otras acepciones de aplicación menos frecuente. Por ejemplo, se llama viento al olor que dejan como rastro las piezas de caza y, además, puede utilizarse para identificar aquello “que mueve o agita el ánimo con violencia o variedad”. Asimismo se denomina viento –entre otras cosas- al hueso que tienen los perros entre las orejas, a las actitudes de jactancia y vanidad de los individuos, a los instrumentos musicales de la familia de los aerófonos e incluso tiene el –poco honorable- significado de describir en lenguaje coloquial a la expulsión de gases intestinales. Está claro (y no por esto último precisamente) que el viento ha tenido una importancia capital en un sinnúmero de acontecimientos históricos, ya que ha sido una permanente fuente de progreso para la humanidad pero también el origen de catástrofes naturales o un elemento cuya presencia resultó determinante en el rumbo adoptado por diferentes civilizaciones y sociedades. El viento impulsó los viajes a través de los océanos y fue esencial en el desarrollo de la aeronavegación, tuvo influencia concluyente en batallas que cambiaron el curso de la historia y extendió el alcance del transporte más allá de los límites imaginables. El viento nos ha proporcionado una fuente inextinguible de energía; su capacidad de erosión y la intervención en los procesos eólicos pueden modificar el relieve geográfico y también se constituye -tanto por su influencia en el equilibrio de la atmósfera como en la producción del ciclo hidrológico- en uno de los factores primarios que explican la vida sobre la superficie terrestre.

    La presencia del viento –en ocasiones ominosa y fatal, otras veces próspera y benefactora- también ha sido para el hombre un constante motivo de inspiración en el desarrollo de las artes. Así lo refleja la poesía en El Viento en la Isla de Pablo Neruda; la dramaturgia en La Tempestad de William Shakespeare y la narrativa en El Viento de Djemila de Albert Camus. En el arte pictórico el viento ha sido epicentro creativo de clásicos como El Molino y Cristo en la Tormenta sobre el Lago de Galilea de Rembrandt y El Nacimiento de Venus de Sandro Botticelli (cuadro en donde Venus aparece en brazos de Céfiro, el dios del Viento) o en obras contemporáneas como El Baile y el Viento de Oliver de León.

    La música también nos ofrece numerosos ejemplos en donde el viento es un eje de inspiración; desde clásicos como el vals Entre Rayos y Truenos Óp. 324 de Johann Strauss, la Sonata para Piano No. 3 La Tempestad de Ludwig van Beethoven y The Tempest de Jean Sibelius hasta canciones populares como Wind Cries Mary de Jimi Hendrix, Wild is the Wind de Dimitri Thomkin y Ned Washington, The Eye of the Hurricane de Herbie Hancock, Dust in the Wind del grupo Kansas y Blowin’ in the Wind de Bob Dylan.

    Lo cierto es que el viento también habita un espacio medular en el ideario estético del álbum que hoy nos ocupa: Upcoming Hurricane.

    En este trabajo el trío que encabeza el ascendente contrabajista franco-alemán Pascal Niggenkemper (PN Trio, BaLoNi, Rosco Paje, HNH, Thomas Herberer’s Clarino, etc.) en compañía del notable pianista ruso Simon Nabatov (Roundup, Nabatov/Wogram Duo, ensamble Futurrr…, entre otros) y el experimentado baterista estadounidense Gerald Cleaver (Uncle June, Farmers by Nature, Violet Hour); el viento no sólo deja su impronta en el nombre del álbum y en los títulos de cada una de las piezas que lo integran sino que además se manifiesta en la idea rectora que lo impulsa. La propuesta de Upcoming Hurricane se funda en la libre improvisación pero sin recurrir a formas o estructuras preconcebidas ni con basamento en material compositivo previo sino privilegiando la intuición y la naturalidad en la comunicación entre los músicos e induciendo, desde esa perspectiva, al espontáneo surgimiento de un vínculo estético que conduzca al trío a construir su propia identidad y elaborar un taxativo temperamento sonoro.

    El espíritu que circunda esta grabación parece enlazar deliberadamente la liberación de los dogmas y el ritual de la improvisación musical con el concepto del viento ya que -según afirma Pascal Niggenkempper- “su poder natural actúa como una metáfora universal de la libertad que reside en la improvisación” y simboliza de manera alegórica el “vínculo que permite unir a músicos de diferentes continentes y culturas” como los que integran este trío.

    Un exquisito preludio en contrabajo con arco a cargo de Pascal Niggenkemper marca el camino de Pusteblume, título que refiere a una flor de la familia de las asteráceas conocida como diente de león, caracterizada por su semilla voladora. Ese atributo que -a instancias del viento- disemina las semillas perpetuando la especie, termina oficiando como una estampa cabal de los múltiples espacios creativos que van naciendo al conjuro de la improvisación.

    El éxtasis rítmico y la contundencia polimodal del tema que da título al álbum -Upcoming Hurricane (en inglés, “próximo huracán”)- asciende pesadamente hasta coronarse en un clímax dramático subrayado de manera soberbia por la protagónica intervención del piano de Simon Nabatov.

    El clima etéreo y angular de Árbol de Piedra debe su nombre al grupo de rocas volcánicas ubicadas en el desierto Siloli de Potosí (Bolivia) que, a causa de la erosión del viento, han adoptado una apariencia semejante a la de los árboles.

    En cambio Aeolus – título que evoca al dios de los vientos en la mitología griega- se traduce en una serie melódica de fuerza creciente respaldada por un ostinato rítmico que –al igual que una tormenta de viento- tras alcanzar su caótico apogeo se diluye dejando una sensación de trágico lirismo.

    Fighting the Mill (en inglés, “peleando contra el molino”) hace referencia al clásico pasaje de la novela de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quijote de la Mancha, en la que su protagonista lucha contra los molinos de viento. Aquí el ensamble dibuja una inquietante arquitectura sonora en donde se conjugan la sutileza interpretativa, el sobrio manejo en los procesos de relajación y tensión, las mesuradas inserciones de técnicas extendidas y un remate conclusivo con epicentro en el notable solo de batería de Gerald Cleaver.

    En el oblicuo Rahonavis –nombre que alude a una pequeña especie de dinosaurio terópodo similar a un ave que vivió a finales del periodo Cretáceo- el trío se entrega a un vuelo colectivo en el que los instrumentos convergen y se separan constantemente en líneas ascendentes o descendentes, cargadas de fuerza interior hasta desaparecer en una coda sigilosa y distante.

    La invocación al vuelo se torna aún más explícita en la exquisita pieza que cierra el álbum, toda vez que el título Mongolfiere hace referencia a los hermanos Joseph-Michel y Jacques-Etienne Mongolfier, inventores del globo aerostático.

    En síntesis: Pascal Niggenkemper, Simon Nabatov y Gerald Cleaver configuran en Upcoming Hurricane un alegato estético casi tan poderoso e intemporal como el viento pero enunciado con la suficiente convicción, autoridad, imaginación y pericia para llegar a su propio destino creativo.

  7. Free jazz trios require an instigator—someone who will incite others to action, counteraction, or response. With the trio of double bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, Simon Nabatov, and Gerald Cleaver, there are three such instigators, and on Upcoming Hurricane, these the three musicians collaborate to create nearly a perfect storm.

    A relative newcomer, German-born Niggenkemper invited the two veterans for this improvisation session, and as such, he is the architect of these tracks. Certainly, his bass stands up as an equal voice here, opening the disc with swirling bow work on “Pusteblume,” with Nabatov’s piano detonated first from the inside (strings), then with some contemplative wondering at the keys; this coming together through mushrooming energy is an appealing feature throughtout. Cleaver’s scavenging work at his kit can take on “found sounds,” like that of hubcaps and wind chimes, on “Fighting The Mill”; like his work in Farmers By Nature, with William Parker and Craig Taborn, Cleaver shifts from minimalist to thunderous fomenter with ease. But, then, so can Nabatov. The pianist, whose previous work with the drummers such as Tom Rainey, Paul Lovens, and Michael Sarin, can approach these interactions with the scrabble of horn player and the painter-like qualities of a stringed instrument. The delicacy of his playing balances Niggenkemper’s fiery momentum and Cleaver’s decorations.

    The best example of this group’s facility is on the nearly 12-minutes title track, where the trio builds a dense, layered, and ever-increasingly energized sound that morphs constantly into a thunderhead. The brewing tempest has Nabatov favoring left hand rumblings, Niggenkemper the reverberations of energy from bowed and plucked strings, and Cleaver a churning surge of power. It is a masterpiece of instant composition.

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