Henán Samá/Marcelo von Schultz

comunicar y ser
VONYULZ No #

Yedo Gibson-Vasco Trilla

Antenna

MultiKulti Project MPSMT 004

Shackled to the music world’s collective memory of tango and bossa nova triumphs, it’s difficult for Brazilian or Argentinean practitioners of less appealing sounds to get a proper hearing, especially at home. The solution in most cases has been expatriation, with avatars like Gato Barbieri and Ivo Perelman leading the way. A new generation of improvisers is following suit and these arresting duo sets how show just what the South American continent has, has lost or is in the process of losing.

Recorded in Buenos Aires, comunicar y ser’s eight tracks match the tenor saxophone expressions of Henán Samá, who is in the process of moving to Amsterdam, with drummer Marcelo von Schultz, who so far has resisted foreign blandishments. Meanwhile Brazilian-born baritone and soprano saxophonist Yedo Gibson has already made the move to Lisbon. Antenna’s half-dozen tracks find him exploring sonic byways alongside Barcelona-born percussionist Vasco Trilla.

Firmly in the vigorous and hard-biting tenor tradition which stretches northwards from Barbieri and Perelman to John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, Samá starts vibrating power slurs as early as the first and title track. Unlike Northern American percussionists through, von Schultz’s responses are more indirect, relying on cymbal clanks, rolling vistas and tremors from small percussion. Once both attain the proverbial full head of steam, as on tracks such as “más preguntas” and “caminar”, the saxophonist’s set of split tone vamps and mewling work itself into kinetic sophistication, On the first track, a single undulating reed line ends with bitten-off slurs as the drummer’s clip-clops and bell pings add to the mood. The most intense of the CD’s duets, “caminar” finds Samá spraying timbres all over the sonic landscape, telling his tale through upwards and downwards pitch variations. As he savors spewing out the same phrases over and over with minor variations, von Schultz, slaps and spanks hanging chimes and bells and scratches wooden implements to punctuate the showcase of dot-dash reed bites and freak notes. Crucially, he expands the musical canvas as he regularizes the tune’s linear flow.

Gibson and Trilla, who have established themselves in the international arena, exhibit similar affinity. While the reedist has a similar command of unexpected multiphonics as Samá, his concentration on the massive and the miniature saxophones means that his improvisations often concentrate on high-pitched whines and tongue flutters with the occasional dip into chalumeau tongue slaps at the expensive of the middle ground. Meanwhile to achieve more indirect patterning, brush handle metallic pings on and across ride cymbals are favored by the drummer. This duo’s program also become more aggressive as it evolves, so that by the aptly titled “Whip”, Gibson is practically speaking in tongues, with the cries and slurs nearly taking on human tones. Bell-like resonation from his kit marks the drummer’s unruffled demeanor and eventually the saxophonist too is sputtering a near-melodic line. Trilla maintains his cool on “Fractal”, Gibson’s baritone sax feature, maintaining steadying press rolls, even as Gibson’s reed smears and extensions are frequently as high-pitched as they are low-down. The widening cornucopia of glossolalia from the saxophonist is caustically summed up with a single cymbal ping at the tune end.

This mixture of serenity and storminess is what makes this duo partnership work. With their imaginary antennas attuned to each other’s expositions, the players’ ensure the tunes always stay the linear course. A dazzling selection of unaccompanied circular breathing on Gibson's part as the finale to “Array” for instance is taken as a matter of course by Trilla. In fact the disc ends with almost identical conclusive single tongue slaps and cymbal slaps by both.

South America’s loss may be the world’s gain, at least musically. And on the evidence here a new source of cultivated improvisers is rapidly joining the jazz gestalt.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: comunica: 1. comunicar y ser 2. plural 3. cósmos 4. más preguntas 5. campo 6. caminar 7. los animales 8. ¿cuál campo?

Personnel: comunicar: Hernán Samá (tenor and soprano saxophones) and Marcelo von Schultz (drums)

Track Listing: Antenna: 1. Aperture 2. Dipole 3. Fractal 4. Whip 5. Array 6. Isotropic

Personnel: Antenna: Yedo Gibson (baritone and soprano saxophones, frula) and Vasco Trilla (drums and percussion)