Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Jazz from Italy part 3 - Gianni Mimmo & Daniel Levin [Amirani Records]

Gianni Mimmo - soprano saxophone
Daniel Levin - cello

co-produced by Amirani Records and Teriayki Records 2012

There are many ways to look at improvisation and many metaphorical ways to describe it. Like the similarities it presents to the art of pottery. Allow me to cite Bill Shoemaker's liner notes to the cd by Carnival Skin*:  "Artists who work with viscous materials like clay and grass are acutely aware of turbulence and how it may turn a potentially bold form into a worthless heap. They push the material right up to the line, allowing a smoothly flowing centrifugal force to do its thing without compromising the integrity of the material".

Now let us take the metaphor further and focus on the turbulence (with the little help of Wikipedia): turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic property changes. (...)

In turbulent flow, unsteady vortices appear on many scales and interact with each other. 
We'll read further that turbulence is highly irregular, rotational and three-dimensional, needs a steady source of energy in order to be sustained, dissipates quickly. And I might add the visual effects might be quite mesmerizing (an example beside). Quite like an engaging improvisation.

Gianni Mimmo and Daniel Levin engage in such improvisation and their relation is truly dynamic. Tension and release. Push and pull. Harmony and dissonance. The two instruments attack straight away, with the very first notes of "Turbulent flow", but at a certain point they hit an unisono note, a long single resonating tone, just to separate once again in dazzling circular movements. There are moments of melodic serenity (delicate and harmonius "Sculpted", one of my favourites of the cd), mysterious darkness, poetic reflection. 
The chemistry between the two is clear. Daniel Levin's sound can be elegant but he bites and grinds, which balances the sweeter soprano's voice by Gianni Mimmo. To follow the apparently random circles and whirlpools, the sudden changes in density is quite a spectacle. The duo launches itself forward with no hesitation, constantly throwing new ideas into the creative mix. The music is more on the chamber side, unpredictable, a flow of continuous change. Leave your belts unfastened and enjoy the turbulences.

*relased by Nemu Records 2006. The band is Bruce Eisenbell, Perry Robinson, Peter Evans, Hilliard Greene and Klaus Kugel.


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