Russell/ Keune/Vanderstraaeten - On Sunday [New Wave Of Jazz - 2020]On Sunday severs up two lengthy examples of shifting & gratingly creative improv for amplified acoustic guitar, alto sax & drums/percussion. The two-track CD nicely moves back and forth between cluttering angularity, wavering-to-soured discord, and manic scuttling- so it’s certainly improv for those who like the more noise-bound & difficult side of the form. The release appears on New Wave Of Jazz- a Belgium lable, who focuses in the less approachable/ seared side of improv/modern composition genre.
The recording here is a live made in 2010 at Bar L’Archiduc in Brussels- with the players been John Russell(amplified acoustic guitar), Stefan Keune( Alto Saxophone) and Kris Vanderstraeten( percussion & drums). There is really no crowd noise here, with the whole thing recording in good definition & clarity- so you feel every scarp, scuttle, slice, and discordant dart.
The first track/ set runs at just over the twenty-seven-minute mark, and it’s entitled “On Sunday 1”. The track is very jerking & jarringly unpredictable in its flow- as it moves from slowed string grates, compressed honks, and darting percussion. Onto tight & taut weaves of rapid horn bays, scuttling picks & scrubs, and manically cluttering drum work. Through to blends of wound down & grim picks ‘n’ strums, smaller horn smarts, and percussive crashes 'n' smashes.
The second track “On Sunday 2” runs longer at forty-three minutes- it begins in a fairly lulling & flit manner, with atmospheric descending strums, darting honks & hisses, and lazy pitter-pattering percussion. As we move on things go from discordant picks ‘n’ scrabs that are met by fidgeting percussion, and forking horn trails. Through to mixes of neck scrape, rubbing-to-sawing percussion, and horn hiss. The layout of this track feels a little more spaced & sparse, compared to the first track, but once again there is a lot of shift & surprising happening along the tracks nearing forty-five-minute run.
In total On Sunday runs at around the seventy-two minutes mark- which is a fairly long for an improv release, but it remains creative & eventful through-out, meaning your constantly kept on you toes with never a dull moment.Roger Batty