“Proving once again that any instrumental grouping works with the right ideas this trio has created a leading-edge series of memorable improvisations.”
Here’s an excellent review by Ken Waxman for JAZZ WORD (Canada). RENNIE/ROBERTS/SERRIES’ TRANSLUCENCE album is still available through our bandcamp store.
“Working out a harsher and most liberated take on an infrequently constituted musical meld are baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts and trombonist Tullis Rennie, both from the UK and Belgian acoustic guitarist Dirk Serries. Although John Zorn/George Lewis/Bill Frisell and Jimmy Giuffre/Bob Brookmeyer/Jim Hall both profitably excelled in this configuration, their work was more song oriented. In contrast this European trio probes deeper into free improvisation, consciously pushing the instruments’ limits, but with enough maturity to encompass linear motion where appropriate. Rennie’s experience ranges from membership in a Belfast-based free-improvising ensemble to creating multi-media-presentations, while Roberts improvises with the likes of Ollie Brice. Serries has played with free-thinking musicians across Europe. Alternating between slashing rhythmic twangs and occasional tingling clips, Serries bridges the saxophonist’s frequent guttural snarls and tongue slaps and the trombonist’s portamento grace notes and plunger growls. The mix sometimes results in harmony, but with lyricism an accidental byproduct. Mining timbres from within their horns’ body tubes as well as from keys, valves and bells, Rennie and Roberts sporadically create hornpipe-like melodies or exercises in metal percussion. More frequently, as on “Moving Sideways”, half-valve burbles and disassociated split tones join for slightly above human hearing textures, with string strums extending and affirming horizontal movement. These oases of near-silence are spelled by raucous brass wah-wahs and reed flattement and scoops as intense as in any Free Jazz session. But as they evolve in double counterpoint Serries’ pointed flanges cut through the sonic murk. Culminating on the final and title track, Roberts’ strident scoops and Rennie’s clenched snorts work up to a climax along with powerful guitar twangs only to dissolve into near silence at the half way point. Punctuating the quiet with unexpected snarls and slides, new comprehensive timbres end the improvisation while promising more creative music to come. Proving once again that any instrumental grouping works with the right ideas this trio has created a leading-edge series of memorable improvisations.” Jazz Word – Canada