John Chantler/Steve Noble/Seymour Wright

Atlantis
Skivbolaget 1703-9

An uncommon take on astringent Free improvisation, the Atlantis trio ups the stakes by embedding the pulsations from John Chantler’s synthesizer into the sequences created by alto saxophonist Seymour Wright and drummer Steve Noble. Supplanting the chordal role with programming doesn’t push the CD’s three tracks into electronic, but instead Australian-in-Stockholm computer expert Chantler joins with the UK saxophonist and drummer to devise a program that plays up each instrument’s extended qualities as it produces variable and alluring connections.

Chantler who has worked with Johannes Lunds, Wright with Pat Thomas and Noble with just about everyone in the improvised community, define their parameters on “CLASS I — A SINGLE ENTRANCE CREATED FROM A GAP IN THE BANK”, the extended first track and heighten the action from then on. Appropriately starting with a drum roll, the piece evolves to mix surging pulsations and capricious judders from the synthesizer with multiphonic lip burbles and split-tone screams from Wright plus Noble’s bell-ringing and tom-tom-like ornamentations. A tempo change is marked at mid-point with a distorted rap from Noble’s hand-held cymbal. From then on a conveyer-belt-like rush of extended synthesized oscillations creates a continuum, latterly interrupted or commented on by factory-whistle pitched trills or foghorn-like signs from Wright’s horn, until the drummer’s focused groove climaxes with an echoing cymbal crash as the finale.

Metallic percussion cadences, intermittent tongue slaps and clarion body-tube squawks from the saxophonist and distant synthesized whizzes characterize the other tracks. Each is studded with plenty of three-way contrapuntal motifs and sutured timbral resolution. Finally Wright’s harsh, output expands to permeable cornucopia-wide echoes that combined with Chantler’s pressurized wave forms explode with volcanic precision unite and then fade the trio’s distinctive output.

As empirical as it is experimental, the CD confirm the marked qualities of this configuration and its creation.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. CLASS I — A SINGLE ENTRANCE CREATED FROM A GAP IN THE BANK 2. CLASS II — TWO ENTRANCES, DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE EACH OTHER 3. CLASS III — FOUR ENTRANCES FACING EACH OTHER IN PAIRS

Personnel: Seymour Wright (alto saxophone); John Chantler (synthesizer) and Steve Noble (drums)