There are machines in the garden. And they cant stop moving. You never know what youll here next on this new release from world music clarinetist and philosopher David Rothenberg. One second the call of a rainforest bird, another the driving beat of a Moroccan bendir, and then the dripping sound of the Antarctic icecap melting, a danceable groove or a wash of electronic swells.
This is improvisation not over chord changes, but sound changes, a new kind of jazz that is built around the powerful soundscapes of a living Earth. Rhythms arise from walruses thwacking their teeth against the rocks, and the ominous dripping noise of the Antarctic ice caps melting. Layers of electric rhythm tracks blur into each other like a mad insect dance. Rothenbergs clarinet soars through and around this audio slide show, searching for some way to save the Earth for music, for art, for civilization. Its named in honor of Miguel de Unamuno, the Spanish existentialist writer who could be called a prophet of improvisation and surprise. Chance, he once wrote, is the inner rhythm of the world, and the soul of poetry. Rothenberg howls up and down through his clarinet and through custom-built overtone flutes that soar upon the natural harmonic series. He is joined on various tracks by guitar wizard Amit Chatterjee, known for his work with the Joe Zawinul Syndicate, and frame drummer Brahim Fribgane and oud player Abdul Outanen, who have worked with Hassan Hakmoun. Shakuhachi master Steve Scholle plays on one track, and natural soundscapes were provided by Douglas Quin and Chris Watson. Rothenbergs previous New Tone release, On the Cliffs of the Heart, was praised all over the world for its innovative translation of music from many places into vibrant trio music featuring the percussion of Glen Velez and the banjo of Graeme Boone. Jazziz called it one of the ten best CDs of 1995. This album continues the quest by adding electronics and the envelopingtones of the Earth itself. Find out why the late John Cage once praised Rothenbergs sense of virtuosity traveling all over the globe. Find out why even the walruses cant stop dancing.
ROTHENBERG David from Felmay Shop
David Rothenberg clarinet, keyboards, overtone flutes Amit Chatterjee guitar (1) Brahim Fribgane frame drum (8) Abdul X oud (8) Steve Scholle shakuhachi (11) Doug Quin soundscapes (2,10,16) Chris Watson soundscapes (14)