Various Artists - New Improvised Music From Buenos Aires [ESP-Disk - 2019]Here’s a fourteen/seventy-one-minute compilation of recent improvised music from Buenos Aires- and it’s certainly instrumentally and sonically varied in its make-up. With the tracks moving between rapid & angular, through to stripped back & forlorn, onto darting & nervy, on to more harmonic and bright. So it’s certainly a sonic chocolate box of collection, as you really you don’t know what to expect from track-to-track, which is always positive for a good & balanced compilation that you will want to revisit again.
The release appears as a CD on respected & long-running NYC based Avant Jazz label ESP- Disk’. With the CD presented in a colour four-panel digipak- this features an abstract flower-covered picture of a man & woman, as well as pictures of a few of the artists featured on the back cover. The set also includes a sixteen-page booklet with lengthy liner notes about the collection and full track listing details.
The compilation starts off with two nicely contrasting tracks- first, we have “Improvisation on Graphic Score” by the Pablo Diaz Quintet- this is a wonderfully tight, skeletal & edgy blend of high-end piano runs, and angularly warbling tenor & cornet interplay- which is edged by sudden spiralling churns of percussion & loosely bound double bass. This is followed by “Primer Jugo Bovino” from Rulemares ,Luis Conde Ramiro- Molina Duo- which finds a tense-to-jagged blend of punked 'n' muscular Latin rock, and buzzing-to-hoovering bass sax loops- all pulled along by processing & live electronics.
As we move further on the constants are kept alive and vivid- as we move from squabbling & snazzy avant jazz of the Norris Trios “La Playa Pequena” with is snaking ‘n’ shuffling mixed of compressed cornet work, skittering percussion, and double bass darts. Before dropping into the ornate-to-angular darting solo piano work of Paula Scocron’s “ Solo Paino Improvisation”. Before dropping into the sourly stretched & sonic unwell-ness of Data Peluda’s “18.18” with its blend of electro fed clarinet & bass Sax, synths & electronics.
Esp- Disk’ has never been a label to release a lot of compilations, focusing more of reissuing Avant works from the past, and more recent fare- I think the last time I recall hearing a comp from the label was their excellent 2012 free jazz comp Fire Music Vol 1. So I'm pleased to report that New Improvised Music From Buenos Aires is up to the labels normal high standard- simply put if you are curious about the more experimental/ improv side Argentina music scene, you'll need this.Roger Batty