Free Improv session at Robadors 23 – 15 Jan ’15

Ramon Prats (drums)
Tom Chant (tenor & soprano saxes)
Àlex Reviriego (bass)
Iván González (trumpet)

Here we are again… Robadors 23 on a Thursday night, a hard habit to break. This week featured what could be called the core line up, or at least, the most frequently appearing musicians.

Anyway, we start with a muted morse code riff from IG’s trumpet, soon joined by percussive punctuation from TC on tenor and then we plunge deeply into a refreshing and ritualistic chaos. I’m hardly a religious type – I once referred to a craft beer bar as ‘my temple’ – but there’s something quite uplifting about sitting, basking in this divine cacophony. The volume soon drops to a zen-like almost-whisper and we wait with similarly bated breath to see who will nudge his colleagues into beginning the next climb. It’s RP, with a delicate yet distinct additional percussive emphasis that pushes TC to reverse the sound of his horn into a series of trills, purrs and gurgles… from frenzy to peace and back again.

For the second improvisation, TC switches to soprano and – against a backdrop of drumrolls, bass thumps, and faint texture from IG’s horn – he emits a series of oscillating cries that hurtle past our ears.
Question: What do Tom Chant and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson have in common?
Answer: They both appear to like playing while standing on one leg.
In TC’s case, this seems to serve a sonic rather than pure stagecraft purpose (my sources assure me that covering the sax’s bell results in a lowering of pitch).

Then, a lovely bit of structure amid the storm – a bass and trumpet duet, and I swear I can hear ÀR scatting away along with his fleet and busy lines; after which, ÀR and IG lay out, allowing RP and TC to step in for a sax and drums duet. This is why Robadors 23 is such a great space for this kind of stuff. It’s so small and acoustically ‘dense’ (not entirely sure there is such a thing but that’s the phrase that occurs to me) that the tiniest sound can fill the room. Finally, all four weigh in and it’s all sinister scrapings, wailing supplication, rumbling arco, and emerging dissonance, rhythms and fractured melodies crashing together like tectonic plates.

I think that’s enough hyperbole. Until next week…

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