Reviews are slowly pouring in. Both vinyl releases have been reviewed by VITAL WEEKLY. Check it out.
DIRK SERRIES – SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR IMPROVISATIONS I (LP)
“Following some forty CD releases on his imprint New Wave Of Jazz, Dirk Serries thinks the time is right to expand to the world of vinyl with these two LPs, of which the first one contains music by the man himself. He plays a 1957 Hoffner archtop guitar, and recorded with a single microphone, some 50 centimetres from the guitar and there has been no other audio processing. The liner notes, as always by Guy Peters, are on the front cover, and he uses the extra space the format allows him, to talk some
more on the history of free jazz and connects that to punk and self-taught musicians, of which Serries is one. His direct approach to both the guitar and the recording (mono! Phil Spector would have been proud if still alive) makes that you sit up close to the music. It is almost as if Serries is in your living room, playing his guitar. As we know from his recent playing within the field of free improvisation, Serries is a skilful and varied player, not just within the context of playing with others, but also solo. The guitar is all ten of these improvisations easily recognized and yet nowhere it sounds like some conventional. Maybe it sounds to the uninitiated as if somebody plays it without any knowledge as to how to play the damn thing, but to the trained ear (and, hold on, I am not saying I am an expert in this field; not when it comes to guitar playing, nor when it comes to knowing something freely improvised music) of unusual music, I’d say, he knows what he is doing. He plays odd little motifs, but seemingly hitting just strings or notes, but sometimes he repeats them and makes little differences within these and here’s when you recognize someone clueless and someone who sure knows what has to be done. No bowing, no drones, no lengthy spacious journeys, all of his trademarks from his long career, but immediate, direct music.”
GONCALO ALMEIDA – MONOLOGOS A DOIS (LP)
“I am not sure if with the double bass there are various types, like with the guitar, but none is mentioned on the cover or the fact if this is a mono recording. The latter probably not. It was recorded in the spacious surrounding of the old church in Oud-Charlois, which is a part of Rotterdam and home to a few great concerts, some of these involving the church organ housed there. Goncalo Almeida stuck to his bass. We know him for his one-off collaboration with Rutger Zuydervelt (see Vital Weekly 1000) and various releases with the Spinifex Quartet. The liner notes inform me of a whole world I probably knew existed, but someone
I don’t know much about. The world of free jazz, solo bass players and so on. It makes an interesting read, as it was done with Guy Peters, but after I was done with it, I didn’t return to it any more and decided to play the record again, no longer disturbed by historical information. I found the music quite refreshing. Almeida uses various techniques, the bow, plucking the strings, maybe a bit of the body of the instrument, but in all twelve of these pieces, the double bass remains a recognizable constant presence. It is within these pieces that he shows a great variety of approaches, from melodic, to abstract, from melancholically inclined to a menacing drone. From a very big sound (and I don’t mean spacious in the sense that the church plays a role in that; just a massive sound by itself, not too difficult one could think with this low humming instrument) to very small and delicate. It is never aggressive or noisy, Almeida remains a respectful player, with a fine ear for the
smaller things happening between the notes, yet not overplaying the whole of silence. Far from it, actually. Like the Serries record, one of delicate beauty; a different kind of delicacy, however.”