Kablys. Live at 11:20
Liudas Mockunas - tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones
Eugenijus Kanevicius - bass and electronics
Dalius Naujokaitis – drums
NoBusiness Records 2010
Had the decision to start this blog came just one day earlier the first post would be about Liudas Mockunas, Rafal Mazur, Raymond Strid concert. To make up for it I'd like to present You this release. Liudas Mockunas comes to, what I hope is, international attention of free-jazz lovers, thanks to recent releases of NoBusiness and this one makes his case even stronger.
The first track ("Hooked") starts gently with some melismatic, circling lines on saxophone, light touches on bass strings and thin metal sticks on drums. Don't let it fool You. The music was recorded in punk club and it soon lives up to the promise thus given. It's going haywire, with hard rocking groove, saxophone screaming, drums kicking it forward. The second one ("Broke") starts with wild Gustaffsonesque honks and scronks on baritone, following into another heavy rhythm workout. "Triumph of Pagans (in Memory of the Great Zalgiris Battle)" has almost classical jazz walking and ends with quite epic, beautifully melodic coda. And then You have to flip the side since it's a vinyl (folks in NoBusiness are not letting go of their commendable fetish).
"Emphasiastic" is dedicated to Jimmy Giuffre and presents You with, not really a surprise, more chamber-like, more focused yet melodically and thematically free playing. Starting slowly, closed with busy and dense section (absolutely great bass-drums cloud embellished by fast blurried lines on soprano that, initially sounding very close to clarinet, finishes with agressive tone). And the closer to the end the better it gets with the groove getting into 5th gear for last two or three minutes. The last track of the LP is "Back Door" that features some eerie electronics, with double bass played through wah-wah pedal or some other effect, with music getting slowly its momentum, moving to saxophone distorted and boiling long sounds over the bass and drums backone, with great bass riff and groove shifting the intensity once again off the charts (the double kick tempo at the end is, to simply put it, killing, the drums solo coincise, loud, hard rocking and puts You in the foot-tapping, head-banging mode as it should). Unfortunately You can hear it going still forward (with baritone sax playing the riff now in unisono with the bass and drums dancing all over it) as the sound fades away...
This is kicking and rolling in a great way, drawing a lot on metal, hard rock, punk, noise (some of those sax cries belong as much in noise as in free improv category). Energetic, groovy, exciting, electrifying (even if played acoustically for the most parts). It reminds You a lot of The Thing and I guess it's quite safe to say that this trio shares the same inspirations with the (more renowned) one led by Mats Gustafsson, although the accents are placed differently, and these musicians put more stress on building-up the dynamics. I guess they like to give a chance to listener to prepare himself little bit to the feriocious and powerfull playing that comes inevitably. If You like when improvisors rock it hard (and I don't mean fusion) this comes highly recommended.