Saturday, May 30, 2020
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Artist: The Ames Room (@)
Title: In
Format: 12"
Label: Monotype Rec. (@)
Distributor: MonotypeRec.
Rated: *****
In spite of the legendary Keith Jarrett defended free jazz players against the criticism by purists and traditionalists some years ago as one of the highest form of jazz, nowadays a lot of festival directors and people involved in music teaching have still too many prejudices against this branch of jazz, maybe the most radical and 'mystical' due to the vanishing ' sometimes just apparent ' and the consequent disarrangement of beat, meter, formal symmetry. The Ames Room trio had some experience with such a distrustful perspective and discordant feedbacks 'bout their style, but they decided to issue this provocative record including just two (very long) exhibitions, they performed in 2009. The first one was recorded at the festival NPAI in Niort (France) and in that occasion Adrien Chiquet, the director of Mulhouse's METEO festival, complained that the best gig in Niort was 'fucking jazz', while the second one was recorded in Poznan (Poland) and Polish organizers said The Ames Room's style was not jazz! The three eccentric guys behind this project 'the Berlin-based Australian double bassist Clayton Thomas, the Australian born jazz drummer, electronic musician and composer Will Guthrie and the French electro-acoustic composer, organist and alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet ' define their own style as hard driven terror jazz, but they don't seem to be too interested in definitions or academic learned disquisitions and I suppose even the listeners are going to relegate similar troubles to the back of the class after discovering the raw energy this combo is able to free throughout its eccentric session. I particularly appreciated not only the outlandish espressivo spontaneousness of their sound, but also the way they let 'speak' their instruments, being Jean Luc's saxophone ' it's really funny the way he can modulate it as to turn into croaking, moaning, shrieking and screeching across the intensively devious drum dynamics agitated by Mr.Guthrie's sticks and pedals! - and Will's drum the greater dialogists of the sessions and if you concentrate on the role inside the choral performance by each instrument it really seems they created a soundtrack for an Ames room, based on the three-dimensional optical illusion invented by American ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames in 1934 given by a particular interior design for buildings where dwarfs could look like giants and viceversa. Funny brainy stuff!