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Nuts - Symphony for Old and New Dimensions

Stuart Kremsky, Cadence Magazine

This cross-generational gathering of musicians from France (bassist Duboc and drummer Lasserre), Japan (trumpeter Oki and drummer Sato), and the U.S. (trumpeter Siddik), instigated by Duboc, concocts a pair of free-flowing improvisations that are broadly predictable in form but utterly new in detail. To some extent, the shapes of the two long pieces are determined by the double trumpet/double drums/bass lineup, which makes call-and-response patterns practically inevitable in the on-stage setting. Just as naturally, Duboc’s assertive bass becomes the fulcrum of the energy movements that define this music. Add in the natural ebb and flow of encounters such as this, and the overall contours practically define themselves. At first, everyone cautiously tests the waters, and slowly the momentum builds as the players begin to engage one another more directly. The second piece, also typically, starts out in the same territory where the opener ends up. Strategies are refined, and a collective sense of determined purpose becomes clear. Siddik and Oki, the veterans of the band, both tend to be discursive players, given to atmospheric sounds and a conversational style of soloing. Neither man is given to blowing hard, which gives the session the feel of Free chamber music. They’re all listening closely, keeping the music going with nothing really to fall back on except their own resources, so it isn’t too much to ask their audience to listen just as hard. Not everything works out, and the band gets bogged down midway through the second movement during an unfocused passage centering on Oki’s flute and Siddik’s “objects,” but the drummers lead the way out of the morass and back into the light. It’s not a date that I would call essential, but it’s strong and provocative music, well worth hearing by Free Jazz fans.