Theo Jorgensmann & Oles Brothers: Alchemia
Perhaps surprisingly for a conceptualist like Jorgensmann, 'straightahead' jazzers Tony Scott and Buddy De Franco now seem even more relevant to our updated perception of Alchemia. Both were powerful clarinetists who brought idiosyncratic phrasing and a harmonic bite to solos that balanced on the cusp of freedom. The most impressive aspect of Alchemia, to my ears, is the trio's ecstatic, elastic freedom of line and design. Fluid internal tempo changes create spontaneous shapes and intensify momentum, as the three push up against and out of alignment with each other. In moments of nearly transparent texture, their lines hover and revolve like figures in a Calder mobile, but as energy levels rise they thicken and tumble in responsive friction. In the manner of Scott and De Franco, Jorgensmann employs remarkable speed, facility, and inventiveness to escape the suggestion of bar lines as indications of time, while avoiding bop clichs attached to the implied harmonies. Alchemia is aptly titled--the process of transforming something common into something precious is audible in every choice, every gesture, every move the trio makes." --Art Lange
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