Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rafal Mazur / Liudas Mockunas / Raymond Strid at Alchemia (20.10)

Liudas Mockunas
Fun fact : had the idea to start this blog came one day earlier the very first (or the very second) would be about a concert those three guys played close to a year ago at Solvay (modern art centre in Kraków). 

Raymond Strid is probably best known out of tree, his trio with Barry Guy and Mats Gustafsson has been one of the most respected unit in the free music for quite a long time. Rafal Mazur (one of the most written about musicians on this blog) is well known to Krakow audience, our guy on the stage. Liudas Mockunas (while faithfull readers might remember this review) was probably the least known (to the audience) member of the band but from now on he will be well remembered.

The band starts with an extended piece that in short presents what we'll hear throughout the evening - unlimited energy, constant drive, sonic experimentation (Liudas at one point plays on soprano as if it were a transverse flute - as a result he produces a series of scattered, filed with air sounds and then gains a somewhat brassy timbre and more rapid tone), moments of meditation that unequivocally (although there's no telling how and when exactly) will gather speed and power and momentum until it all gets off the charts. There's a impressive ability to play both in sync and create a multidimensional sonic reality. To both react and push. To play with the contrast. 
Rafal Mazur
Dynamic tension, constant movement created through the ability to play within and outside a structure. Which is mostly sketchy, very opened, but it's clearly there. In a repeated phrase that reappears like a verse during a saxophone solo, or a more stable pulse on drums, or a returning note on the bass.
Raymond plays like a posessed man at times, his hands flying all over the set, tumultous, dense cloud of rhythm (alternating it with scraping sounds and gongs). It is Liudas though to lead the music, and in that way this trio's playing is clearly rooted in free jazz music. Liudas' solos have a clear construction, obvious sense of development and he's playing introduces surprising melodicism. That and an entire variety of scale flights, extended techniques. He's willingness and skills-set to sustain the high-energy (screaming vibrato) levels for minutes is absolutely devastating (there's this killer soprano solo where he "literally" shreds the melody). The bass saxophone serves more abstract and mood-creative purposes, Liudas can play equally a gentle melody or startle with sub-level noise (tricky drum'n'bass music). Rafal's presence seems like a medium between the other two, his acoustic bass guitar   connects all the spaces.
Raymond Strid

Great playing, fascinating music, consistently surprising while surprisingly structured, balanced. There was a massive amount of energy, of colours, of ideas exchanged between musicians and the audience. The best news is the concert was recorded, I can't wait to get my ears again around this.

(photos by Krzysztof Penarski)

Rafal Mazur - acoustic bass guitar
Liudas Mockunas - tenor, soprano and bass saxophone
Raymond Strid - drums, percussion

Alchemia. Krakow. 20.10.2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

It feels great when someone's reading what I'm writing! Please leave a comment if there's anything on Your mind concerning the post (or other subjects) and come back soon.