Saturday, April 21, 2012

From A Whisper To A Scream

Catatumbo, Catatumbo
Babel Label

Ingrid Laubrock - Tenor Saxophone
Ollie Brice - Bass
Javier Carmona - Drums

Ingrid Laubrock is often seen in the musical company of Kris Davis, John Hebert and Tom Rainey, but on Catatumbo she fronts a trio with bassist Ollie Brice and drummer Javier Carmona. Laubrock plays tenor throughout the date, recorded in November of 2010 at the Vortex in London. It begins a little tentatively, with Laubrock’s horn getting into dog whistle territory, but that quickly morphs into a more frantic section that shows an Evan Parker influence, somewhat unavoidable one supposes in this context. The group does a good job of negotiating through several peaks and valleys of intensity in what sounds like a freely-improvised set. Much of Catatumbo is played at less than full throttle, but this gives the group time to really investigate what is being played and respond to each other.

Laubrock varies her sound between extended techniques and a full-bodied tone, an approach reminiscent of Ellery Eskelin. I wasn’t familiar with the bassist or drummer; Brice has a meaty tone and a lot of ideas, and Carmona is also impressive with an approach that marries free jazz drumming with a dash of the “kitchen sink” school of Lytton and Lovens.

Babel Label has done a nice job with the presentation; purchasers receive a gatefold album, CD, and download. There’s a download-only option available as well. 

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