Carter/Holmes/Putman/Greene/Ughi

Telepatia Liquida
577 Records 5807

At this point it borders on a cliché to repeat that multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter galvanizes every ensemble in which he participates. Yet year after year, show after show, release after release, this cliché become a truism. That’s one of the virtues of Telepatia Liquida . For when the 73-year-old Carter who has played with everyone from Yo La Tengo to William Parker is in simpatico company the results are decisively imposing.

Recorded live, the CD’s three tracks find the multi-instrumentalist with such a group of players. Italian drummer Federico Ughi and pianist and scientist Matthew Putman have been Carter associates for a decade; bassist Hillard Greene is a Free Jazz journeyman who has worked extensively with the likes of Charles Gayle and Cecil Taylor; while Patrick Holmes is a young clarinetist whose bone fides include playing with non-Jazz improvisers such as David Weinstein. His chief role here is to serve as front-line foil for Carter. The older player, who is heard on alto, tenor and soprano saxophones and infrequently on trumpet, often sets up the melody line alongside kinetic keyboard slides and sparkles from Putman. Meanwhile the bassist and drummer create an omnivorous swing-tinged rhythm. With Dolphyesque smears or nasal coloratura the clarinetist provides the obbligato or extension to Carter’s story telling.

After a thump and dump drum solo, keyboard clips and New Thing-like cacophonous irregular vibrations at mid point, the quintet confirms its virtuosity and animated confederacy on the concluding “Throne”. Shrill aviary-like twitters from the reeds quickly push away the track’s initial balladic feel, as Putman’s chording turns hard-driving as well. Finally as piano cadences, drum rat-tat-tats and assured string thumps reach an apogee of kinetic dynamics, intertwined multiphonics from the reeds create a narrative and finale that is both rhythmically trenchant and specifically expressive. A better example of 2019 downtown New York Free Music probably can’t be found.

—Ken Waxman.

Track Listing: 1 Deluxe Light 2. Shine-a-town 3. Throne

Personnel: Daniel Carter (alto, tenor and soprano saxophones and trumpet); Patrick Holmes (clarinet); Matthew Putman (piano); Hilliard Greene (bass) and Federico Ughi (drums)