Improvised music is one of the few fields where something like this can happen: having a new band with people we never imagined together, and better still considering that the attempted combination results in something as astonishing as this studio recording. While listening to “Birthmark”, the first, immediate, impression we have is that the association of Lotte Anker with pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro and double bassist Hernani Faustino makes all the sense. More: that it was written in the sky. If there was a common characteristic inviting to turn a reality this reunion of the Danish superb saxophonist with the two Portuguese members of the much acclaimed RED trio, it gets brilliantly evident in the music played here. Let’s call it “intensity”.
All the three of them are intense musicians. And take notice: intensity, here, doesn’t mean they function a an elephant in a porcelain store. Sometimes it seems so, indeed, but there’s also intensity when they restrain themselves, choosing to be subtle and meticulous in their static and very spatial group improvisations. There’s intensity even when Anker, Pinheiro and Faustino lower the amount of notes produced and are more concerned with the maintenance of fluid atmospheres. Only density gives nuance to the shared power of the trio, going from the most
transparent textures to the opaque mixing of several layers of sound, with all the dynamics in between.
If you liked Anker’s flights with Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver, you’re certainly going to discover in this CD other good motives to keep her as a favorite horn player, and if the poetic abstractions of RED trio with John Butcher and Nate Wooley made you happy, here is more material coming from the same mindset and the same sensibility to the here-and-now.
“...There is an attention to the sound, the timbres, from all three that is uplifting. Lotte coaxes her own particular tone-personality out of the three saxes and her note choice has very much something personal as well. We've encountered Rodrigo and Hernani before on these pages and they are as effective as ever. Rodrigo works with cascades and string manipulation or sometimes just brings out of very appropriate super-rubato two-hand counterpoint. Hernani makes full use of the contrabass and what it can do arco and pizz. He listens and responds with what seems exactly right and also initiates the conversational segment when it seems time. He's right there in ways that make it work, and a joy to hear. These are three artists at the top of their craft making a spontaneous music that rings true and has real locutionary power. Birthmark is a genuinely exciting contribution to the music. So, listen already, OK?”
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review
“...All seven cuts are collaborative constructs, characterized by a high level of sensitive interaction. “Golden Spiral” provides a case in point in the way ghostly soprano overtones merge with bowed harmonics and rubbed piano wires. After a tiptoeing sax/piano dance, the piece opens up for a wonderfully dark rippling interlude from Pinheiro, which shows that his armory comprises more than just novel textures. But that’s only one example among many on a set of chamber jazz that smolders throughout with dazzling intensity.”,
John Sharpe, NYC Jazz Record
“...Nervous tension, the creation of anticipation, the quick-turn changes, the effect of being in the moment, all three, at the same time, then adding a flowing continuity, building expectations, building tension, new expectations, new tension. What you hear surprises you, it captivates you, every note, every sound a story by itself. Listen to the slow shimmering tones of Lotte Anker, and the precise and cautious sparse piano notes that Rodrigo Pinheiro adds, accurate, without abundance, just the right few notes that make it work, the dark tones of Hernani Faustino’s bass, one accent here, another foundational color there.”,
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz
“...The music on this album is quite relaxed, but has its nerve, very free form but melodic, often even lyrical, philosophical but without being boring. It is a unique mix of Don Cherry Christiania-based music (without world fusion elements though), Tim Berne-like modern New York avant-garde jazz and European classic avant-garde traditions. And most importantly – all three musicians have that magic chemistry which separates great music from just good music, and it’s a rare thing.”,
Slava Gliozeris, JazzMusicArchives
“...The attraction here though is the interaction. The longest piece at nearly 14 minutes, “Golden Spiral” begins as an instrument tuning—bowed bass, upper register saxophone and the insides of piano. The piece advances, gaining energy very much like a classic Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton improvisation, capturing momentum and intensity. This trio succeeds on multiple levels.”
Marc Corroto, All About Jazz
released January 1, 2013
Lotte Anker: saxophones
Rodrigo Pinheiro: piano
Hernâni Faustino: doublebass
I really love listening to this great piece of Art! The musicians are all amazing Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn’s guitars blend beautifully, while Nate Wooley is the main focus because the music and the concept are what I’m most thrilled with! Great stuff! Alan Ramskill