Guillermo Gregorio/Rafal Mazur/Ramon Lopez

Wondering the Sounds
Fundacja Słuchaj FSR 09/2018

A first-time meeting of experienced improvisers from three different countries, Wandering the Sounds subtly and sophisticatedly demonstrates the global application of free music. Global is an apt description since clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio, is an Argentinean who has been experimenting with a diversity of free and aleatory sounds in diverse genres and configurations for decades from his Chicago home. Drummer Ramon Lopez is a Paris-based Spaniard who has worked with the likes of Barry Guy from Britain and Joëlle Léandre and France; while Krakow acoustic bass guitarist Rafal Mazur has concertized with everyone from Canadian François Carrier to Catalan Agustí Fernández.

Highlighting nine group compositions in real time, recorded in chronological order, the CD traces how the initially hesitant trio members feel each other out before blending into musical timbral exploration. Cautiously expelling reed peeps and flat line breaths, paced percussion pops and rattles and sinewy sliding string patterns, individual concepts start to jell by “This Way and That”, the second track. As Mazur expresses the bass guitar’s dual double bass and guitar-like properties with combination of buzzing glissandi and tough frails, Lopez’s bass drum smacks and snare rebounds toughen as well, as Gregorio’s flutter-tongued action disrupt the exposition with dog-whistle-like squeaks as much as they soothe with nuanced flat-line blowing.

This delicately balanced round robin continues throughout the rest of the disc. For every crying altissimo run the clarinet outputs, an unforced mid-range meditation is equally emphasized as on “Around”. Plus Lopez’s clockwork-like rhythm patterning easily underscores dual counterpoint from the others that takes the form of welling reed trills and affiliated string slides and vibrations. By the penultimate “Far and Near” and the concluding “Endlessly” arrive, slippery drum plops and pops, shrill arabesques and whorls from the clarinet and bass fills that splatter as well as secure a continuum, connect like jigsaw puzzle parts. The resulting sound picture is so coherent that despite geographical disparity, it’s almost as the session – and trio – has existed as a harmonious whole from the beginning.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Aimlessly 2. This Way and That 3. Around 4. Expanding 5. Promenade 6. Different Directions 7. At Random 8. Far and Near 9. Endlessly

Personnel: Guillermo Gregorio (clarinet); Rafał Mazur (acoustic bass guitar) and Ramon Lopez (drums)