Reviews that mention Caroline Kraabel

July 21, 2015

Remote Viewers

Pitfall
RV 12

Living up to a promise many CDs make, The Remote Viewers septet have created a 12 track CD that legitimately could be the soundtrack of a movie. However more than being a mere collection of cues, underscoring and scene-setters for a classic Film Noir, David Petts, the band’s tenor saxophonist and chief composer has written music that can stand on its own without visuals.

Although there are points are which the sonic imagery is so strong that imagining a potential dramatic situation is almost overpowering, Pitfall’s chief pleasure is discovering how the sophisticated arrangements and instrumental balance plays out. One of the reasons this session is notable is the return of drummer Mark Sanders, who recorded with the band in 2010. Because of this the rhythm section of bassist John Edwards and Rosa Lynch-Northover on piano and tuned percussion is properly balanced with the variety of reeds played by Petts, Adrian Northover, Caroline Kraabel and Sue Lynch plus Petts. In other words, while a track such as “Hiring Hall” may only concern itself with scene setting piano chording and chomping reed tones, “D.O.A.”, composed by Northover, features a contrapuntal contrast between one saxophonist’s circular breathing and equally continuous firecracker-like sizzles and crackles from a mechanized noise generator. MORE

February 21, 2014

Remote Viewers

Crimeways
Remote Viewers RV 11

The good news is that the six members of the Remote Viewers appear to have freed themselves from the deliberating funk – of the depressive variety – which characterized their last two releases. The less-than-good news is that while Crimeways is more high-spirited and energetic than those discs, the nagging suspicion remains that some of the jollity is pre-programmed, detracting from the CD’s spontaneity.

To deal with the positive first, all of the disc’s nine tracks, composed by tenor saxophonist David Petts, eventually come together as a unified program, although suggesting different moods, some of which skirt the narrow line between improvised Jazz and Rock. True to the title as well, more tracks than the first could be sound tracks to private detective dramas, with “On a Quiet Front” in particular instilled with the touch of menace that could suggest Peter Gunn is on the case. That motif deepened as the unified saxophone smears accelerate and are toughened with strong sluices from John Edwards’ bass, juddering electronics patches and processed electronic whistles and vibe pops from Rosa Lynch-Northover plus what could be programmed percussion. Throughout as well the rhythm section duo manages to assert personalities, with Edwards in particular expanding his rhythmic role to encompass programmed shrills and bass-guitar-like slaps. MORE

August 1, 2012

Remote Viewers

Nerve Cure
Remote Viewers RV 9

Perhaps the picture of score paper on this CD’s inner sleeve as well as some track titles provides clues to the conceptual thinking behind this session. Two decades along in their partnership, the music from British saxophonists Adrian Northover and David Petts is becoming more tense and formalized.

Except for Adam Bohman’s metallic objects bowed with abrasive abandon on “Long Weekend”, the personnel and instrumentation here is almost identical to the band’s previous outing. Yet a vague sense of unease seems to permeate the performance. Also bassist John Edwards’ use of harp arpeggios and Rosa Lynch-Northover’s marimba bar pops and piano key clinks suggest mid-century, so-called classical music more than the textures from breezier and more aleatoric improvised sounds. Furthermore on “Forgotten Corners” when one of the sax players sounds oboe-like tones to complete a track which previously has been divided between the bassist’s strokes and squeaking reed cries, the idea of accidentally wandering into a New music recital suggests itself again. MORE

April 13, 2011

The Remote Viewers

To The North
RV8

Alesandro Sacha Caiani

Effecto Ludico

Silta Records SR0904

Blending a saxophone choir plus a rhythm section has been a popular method of producing multiphonic textures ever since the Swing Era. Extending the interaction to encompass atonality and polyphony resulted when bands such as the World Saxophone Quartet and ROVA worked with rhythm sections. Effecto Ludico and To the North are notable examples of European bands adapting and altering the style. Main mover in both ensembles is a tenor saxophonist, Milan-based Alesandro Sacha Caiani on Effecto Ludico and London’s David Petts on To The North. However the end results contain as many differences as similarities. MORE

December 18, 2008

London Improvisers Orchestra

Improvisations for George Riste
psi 08.06

London & Glasgow Improvisers Orchestras

Separately & Together

Emanem 4219

Successfully guiding free-form improvisations and conductions utilizing the talents of independent musicians in a large orchestra is a challenge; trying to do the same with two outsized improvising ensembles can be foolhardy. Yet that memorable experiment is captured on Separately & Together, a two-CD record of a 2007 meeting between London’s 27-piece Improvisers Orchestra and Glasgow’s 17-piece Improvisers Orchestra. Separate sets by both bands are also featured. MORE

December 18, 2008

London & Glasgow Improvisers Orchestras

Separately & Together
Emanem 4219

London Improvisers Orchestra

Improvisations for George Riste

psi 08.06

Successfully guiding free-form improvisations and conductions utilizing the talents of independent musicians in a large orchestra is a challenge; trying to do the same with two outsized improvising ensembles can be foolhardy. Yet that memorable experiment is captured on Separately & Together, a two-CD record of a 2007 meeting between London’s 27-piece Improvisers Orchestra and Glasgow’s 17-piece Improvisers Orchestra. Separate sets by both bands are also featured. MORE

September 26, 2005

LONDON IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA

Responses, Reproduction & Reality
EMANEM 4110

Outgrowth of a Butch Morris-led conduction that took place in London a few years ago, the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO) has evolved into a once-a-month gig where some of the British capital’s best improvisers get together to try out new ideas.

Involving a revolving cast of 30-plus players as well as different conductors and composers, the LIO has taken on an identity far beyond that of a BritImprov kicks band. However as these seven tracks, recorded at 2003’s and 2004’s Freedom of the City festivals demonstrate, the outcome is still inconsistent. MORE

February 28, 2005

Ned Rothenberg/Peter A. Schmid

En Passant
Creative Works

Caroline Kraabel/Phil Hargreaves
Where we were: shadows of Liverpool
Leo

By Ken Waxman
February 28, 2005

Superficially similar, these two reed duos show how dissimilar wind-instrument combinations can be, especially if the primary concept is set out at the get-go.

Interestingly enough, each of the duos includes one American and one European, but the contrasts have little to do with geography. En Passant can be heard as a tradition improv meeting -- if that isn’t an oxymoron. New Yorker Ned Rothenberg brought his clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone and shakuhachi to a studio in Switzerland to meet Peter A. Schmid, a Swiss stylist who plays taragot, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet and tubax -- a specially designed bass saxophone. They proceeded to play together right off with little or no pre-planning, and then Rothenberg went off to his next gig. Thus the altogether appropriate title, which in English translates as “passing through”. Both men are veteran free improvisers in reed combinations, and what’s more, each has recorded a reed duet with Englishman Evan Parker. MORE