Wollny – Parisien – Lefebvre – Lillinger – XXXX
(ACT 9924-2 . Album evaluation by Jon Turney)
The ACT label has constructed a roster of artists meaning it is best to count on the surprising from new releases. The usually explosive keyboard participant Michael Wollny has the identical high quality. His title showing first on this jointly-credited session certainly signifies it is stuffed with fireworks. However they don’t seem to be the type lovers of his numerous piano trios and duos are used to.
Wollny and two frequent associates – bassist Tim Lefebvre and soprano saxophone wizard Émile Parisien – obtained along with the hyperkinetic drummer Christian Lillinger for 4 nights at Berlin’s A-Trane membership in December 2019: no prep, no set checklist. Eight units of free-spirited improvisation ensued, now distilled to yield ten brief CD cuts with assist from producer Jason Kingsland.
The outcomes are largely heavily-layered, mood-shifting, exploratory – toying with kind whereas not often embracing it wholeheartedly. Wollny, channelling the Krautrock you hear subtler hints of when he performs acoustic piano, sticks to a number of digital keyboards. He’s clearly relishing their capacity to see-saw between totally different sounds and timbres – additionally, it appears, the standard these devices now must evoke the latest previous. The curiously retrofuturistic air that these as soon as new sounds conjure appears to go well with him.
Lillinger’s stressed post-Shannon Jackson beats don’t fairly have that impact, though the best way he hooks up with the electrical bass, questing for a groove, and with Wollny’s synth sounds produces moments a blindfold tester would possibly guess come from an previous Invoice Laswell manufacturing. Solely moments, although, as the combination is continually shifting, keyboards dipping into sound worlds acquainted – from science fiction soundtracks, say – and unfamiliar, welcoming and, at instances, just a little forbidding.
Amid these sonic dramas, Parisien hews closest to a well-known fashion, solely sometimes adorned with some digital color. His soprano traces journey the turbulence of the high-energy items, and centre the episodes, fewer in quantity, when issues are calmer. The unfailing readability and forcefulness of his traces is a pleasant closing ingredient in a band that would in any other case make music with too few handgrips for some listeners.
Even with them, this can be a wild journey, if not positively hallucinogenic (a droll ACT designer has put the chemist’s structural method for psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient of magic mushrooms, on the CD cowl although it isn’t recognized there). This may not get revisited as usually as Wollny’s extra easy “jazz” output, however it’s a dazzling set of visits to a broader realm of sound this foursome might clearly discover additional. In the event that they repeat the tactic exemplified right here, that can imply extra prolonged dwell work at some point. The lingering impression from this launch is that they received’t know the place they’re going, however are thrilled that it might be completely wherever.
XXXX is launched on 30 April 2021