March 23, 2015
ILK 212 LP
Obdurate, microtonal tracks, the seven graphical compositions by Danish drummer Peter Bruun that unroll with dawdling unhurriedness on this LP, confirm the writing skills of the percussionist who in the past has been part of aggregations headed by innovators such as French guitarist Marc Ducret and British pianist Django Bates. Considering through, that many of the dynamics on these atmospheric tracks’ relate to deliberate keyboard motions, the unintended consequences is that the focus is most frequently on the interpretations of pianist Søren Kjærgaard, known for his collaborations with American drummer Andrew Cyrille.
With the measured exposition of these tunes often resembling the notated style of Morton Feldman, expected Jazz-oriented asides are at a minimum. Nonetheless the freedom Bruun has given the soloists – who also include trumpeter Eivind Lønning, multi-reedist Torben Snekkestad and bassist Jonas Westergaard – adds improvisational spikiness that easily contradict by-rote tempo dragging. The first hint of how the band meets the challenge occurs on “Serendipity”, as Snekkestad’s outer-directed trills and slurs plus Bruun’s careful brush work animate what formerly – and on the two previous tracks had been – a nearly unbroken piano line. Once other timbres are added the keyboard ostinato is finally splintered enough to join with the others’ textures to create a poignant sound space. Another variant of this sophisticated strategy is on “Træskonæb”. With only the composer’s rolls and rumbles backing Kjærgaard’s repetative keyboard-brushing sequences most of its length, the composition finally comes to life in the final minutes as vamping horns confirm the initial exposition.
In a role reversal which has him subverting his own theme, Bruun’s unconventional staccato pulses break up the mobile piano chords on “Lavine”; whereas “No 4 (b)” is the most aggressive exposition. This constrained free-for-all adds Westergaard’s abrasive string scrubs, trumpet triplets and whinnying clarinet tones as a unique trope that injects a weird folkloric interface to the piano narrative. By the conclusion sharp tone experimentation has become so paramount that distinguishing which string player is creating bell-like pings becomes impossible.
It’s not that sonic philosophy that underlies Bruun’s unique compositions is ever lost however. By the conclusion of the final “Phil”, following direct reed twitters, rim shots and walking-bass suggestions, the pianist reprises a variant of the thematic sequence that begins the disc.
In short, the intended consequences of Unintended Consequences are to confirm Bruun’s evolving talents as a composer and arranger as well as a drummer.
Track Listing: A: 1. Klokke Spil 2. Unintended Consequences 3. Serendipity B: 1. Lavine 2. Træskonæb 3. No 4 (b) 4. Phil
Personnel: Eivind Lønning (trumpet); Torben Snekkestad (tenor saxophone and clarinet); Søren Kjærgaard (piano); Jonas Westergaard (bass) and Peter Bruun (drums)