Laura Toxværd/Jacob Anderskov/Maria Faust

CALLING: Live from Winterjazz in Copenhagen 2020
New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings NEWJAiM1

Using graphic notation as prompts and expanding her duo concept of earlier years still further, Danish alto saxophonist Laura Toxværd works through variants of timbre, pitch and tone on this compelling release An academic, who has recorded with the likes of John Tchicai, the saxophonist welcomes back her former duo partner, Danish pianist Jacob Anderskov and Estonian alto saxophonist Maria Faust, both of whom lead their own groups. Yet the noises produced by this trio are the closest to a percussion ensemble that can be created without percussion instruments.

Fundamental to the three tracks is that Anderskov spends as much time stopping, plucking and smacking internal piano strings that further judder instruments placed upon them as he does playing the keyboard. Even then his strategy customarily involves key clips and slaps rather than glissandi or cadenzas. The saxophonists likewise make extensive use of tongue slaps and key percussion to enhance percussiveness. However this doesn’t prevent one saxophonist from frequently expressing strained peeps and flattement as the other creates deep toned contrapuntal tones. Tugboat-like honks, renal snorts and dissected trills may predominate as the horns’ interpretations circle one another. But there are sequences, especially on the concluding “ING”, where compelling reed connections and melodic snatches are obvious. “LL” is the most dissonant and thudding of the tracks. Building up from unaccompanied split tone screams and vocalized glossolalia, probably from Toxværd, she preserves hard-blowing nephritic scoops as the other saxophonist creates a tandem line including multiphonics and quacking split tones. With Anderskov comping while challenging the others with stopped piano key patterns and metallic echoes, the narrative regularizes to presage lyrical suggestion on the final track.

Notable sound elaboration, the validity of graphic interpretation is confirmed throughout the disc.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. “CA” 2. “LL” 3. “ING”

Personnel: Laura Toxværd and Maria Faust (alto saxophone) and Jacob Anderskov (piano with preparations)