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På skive


«Out of Our Systems»

«Out of Our Systems» is the sophomore album by the American trio of poet-pianist-composer Eliot Cardinaux, who favors «the lucidly bent» of poetic images and is inspired by the strange torn off clarity of the great poet Paul Celan and is known for his ongoing associations with Danish musicians, together with double bass player-composer Will McEvoy and drummer Max Goldman, following «take me by the hand of darkness» (The Bodily Press, 2019). Like on the debut album of this working trio, Cardinaux’s enigmatic poems and his reserved and unassuming dramatic delivery of these poems set the atmosphere of this album, often leading the trio into unchartered terrains, while stressing the trio’s ability to navigate and elaborate on longer forms. «Out of Our Systems» was recorded at Machines, Rhode Island, in August 2021.

The opening piece, Cardinaux’s poem-composition «Lying in the House of You (Piano Day)» reflects the thoughtful, chamber jazz atmosphere of the album with its vivid yet chilly and dark images («The Silent: cold fire / The wolf’s eyes flicker into no one’s language…»). His instrumental «Little Waltz» and the composition poem «Toxin» solidify further these unsentimental, cerebral veins with clear and strong references to the music of Paul Bley (who, like Cardinaux, ran his own independent label). The poem-composition «A Black Box for the Holy Ghost» deepens his religious images, interrupted and complemented by his musical free associations, delivered in a stormy train of thoughts, and abstracted remarkably by McEvoy and Goldman. «When We Went (Someone Else’s Mystery)» reflects on the elusive artistic creative process. McEvoy’s two compositions «Unwound» and «Rosary» expand on the austere, reflexive atmosphere of Cardinaux’s compositions and offer more space for the patient and individual improvisations. The Rorschach-like cover art by musician Zoe Christiansen corresponds beautifully with the album’s atmosphere.

Cardinaux calls this album «a cinematic odyssey, at once vivid, stark, lush, spacious, witty». A concise description of arresting but demanding listening experience.

Eyal Hareuveni

Eliot Cardinaux (p, poetry), Will McEvoy (b), Max Goldman (dr, cymbals, perc)

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