Roberts, Serries, Verhoeven, and Ward - Imaginary Junction [New Wave Of Jazz - 2020]
Imaginary Junction presents the listener with two lengthy and eventful slices of improvising- that nicely flip 'n' flop between busy manic-ness, and more atmospheric strolls and crawls. The CD brings together the talents of Cath Roberts- baritone saxophone and objects, Dirk Serries- acoustic guitar, Martina Verhoeven- piano, and Tom Ward- flute, Clarinet and bass clarinet.
The two tracks were recorded in July of last year- and due I’m guessing to Covid it was recorded in two separate locations Brockley in the UK, and Sint-Lennaarts in Belgium. With the players being able to hear each other in real-time. And really you wouldn’t know it was done in this way, as all four players bounce off and reacting to each other very well, for two very involving and rewarding tracks that are alive with both invention and shifting mood/ atmospherics.
The two tracks are simply entitled Part One and Part Two- with each rolling in near the half-an-hour mark, for a total release playtime of sixty minutes. “Part One” opens with a mix of rapidly darting and strumming guitar, and snaking rustle. Fairly soon both piano and flute enter, with the sax, also joining in too- together the instruments create an intricate and vibrate soundscape, which feels both manic and playful. As we move on things start to shift down, then up again in gears- as go from moody warbling horns, edged by slowed atmospheric scapes, and darted by dramatic piano key. Back to suddenly shifting and flitting blends of the instruments- sometimes with all playing at the same, at others with just two players.
Moving onto "Part Two", and we begin with a mixture of forking and weaving horn work, and tempered textural creaks. As we progress we find bounding low-end piano tones coming into looping play, as well as more layers of horn bay and scream. Later on, we shift onto melancholic drifts of piano notations, drifted by smoky honks, shimmering neck slides, jittering object detail and moody flute trails. Moving onto doomy horn drags, gloomily low piano key shifts and sinister textural fiddles. With the track finishing on a more manic and wacky, but still a little shady tip with a mix of rapid scabbing horn and guitar neck work over glumly tolling piano tones.
I must say I enjoy most of what the New Wave Of Jazz label puts out, but I have to say Imaginary Junction is a real corker of a release, with this four-piece really weaving some wonderful improvised magic. So if you enjoy rewardingly shifting improv, that moves between detailed manic-ness and more atmospheric fare. Head here to score a copy of the disc here.Roger Batty