Nick Branton – Sumi

A kind of ‘brief image’ approach to a solo reeds album. Though clearly present, technique is not front and centre (thankfully). Nor is this a dense skronkfest; though worry not, harsh textures are included. More an elegant dreamlike consciousness of air and space… Feels like it’s coming from a jazz place. Delving well beyond that terrain but adopting sounds and fractured phrasing from that idiom, offering access from that beginning to an other place. each track is a briefly sketched and elaborated miniature, built upon a potsherd of tone or phrasing.

A lost ship crawls out of the temporal fog, a sense of age and tragedy rusted into the hull, everything mechanical clanging in memory… constructing a dream in which you wander the halls of the ancestral home you never had, in arthouse suspense… the jigsaw has no picture; just a cupful of fragments with which endless geomancy is possible… while the gaviotas wheel too far inland; alien visitors with their own isolated charm even though communication is impossible… lying in a timeless, spaceless state of (?)being, all possibilities exist suspended – it’s a question of will, follow the thread, count the knots… while surrounded by the dark, the Innsmouth Lament approaches, from all directions, inexorable … metal Fibonacci dogs ate my homework… as alien hymns are flung from subterranean chapels to the three-eyed god… trickling water, pure, random, relentless, shapeless, life escapes… we’re swimming in circles, gasping, keys rattling out of reach, the locks are already opened for… a modern conversation, a one-handed dialogue; it’s difficult to talk through a mask, airless… leaving scraps with jagged edges, layered and loosely brazed into place, a tin tree, trimmed by blue flame. Maybe everything is a month…

A dozen slow, thoughtful inventions and explications, veering between whimsicality and darkness; twelve brief form-facets to tease the imagination and pique the curiosity. And… nice tone!

Cran
Sumi
Calder Bowl
Well Guell
And you as you
Snail
Caracol
Schwittabix
Just to push
Turtle took my chair
Radula
ACTCMK

(35:02)

Nick Branton – Bb & Bass Clarinet, Alto & Baritone saxophone

Sumi is available for download from Nick Branton’s Bandcamp page.