All sorts of jazz, free jazz and improv. Never for money, always for love.
A world away from the previous releases lies the cool, abstract landscapes of Ballades,
a recent CD from the French group, Free Unfold Trio. I must say that I
like the concept on paper — freely improvised pieces done in a “ballad”
style — a bit better than the actual result. Think “Paul Bley Plays for
Lovers” for a general sense of what this music is like. Although the
music doesn’t even amount to 30 minutes running time, it definitely
seems longer. Thoughtfully placed piano notes amid a pointillistic
landscape of gentle cymbal swishes and eerie ponticello arco moans from
the bass (and so on) are the order of the day here. In retrospect, the
musicians are wise to keep the CD as short as it is because I don’t
think this type of approach is capable of sustaining interest beyond
what is already extant. Then again, I suppose an album of all
conventional ballads would likely engender the same soporific reaction,
so it’s not really the content that’s at issue here; merely the pacing
and lack of dynamic contrast. Nonetheless, despite my ultimately
flagging interest, I did like the idea and the idea was executed well.
It’s gratifying to hear such care and sensitivity to be lavished on
totally improvised music of this sort and these guys pull it off as well
as anyone could.
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