The Italian Jooklo Duo – sax player (and also keyboard player) Virginia Genta and partner-drummer David Vanzan, have been busy freeing the free jazz since 2003, and as Genta describes it: “constantly working to find the highest way of expression connected to the oneness of universe”. The Duo has been working under constant-changing monikers as the Neokarma Jooklo Trio or Jooklo Sextet and Octet, Jooklo Experience, Golden Jooklo Age, Lock The Jooklo, Jooklo Zappa, Jooklo Danish Group, and Jooklo Finnish Quartet, collaborating with Mette Rasmussen, Bill Nace, and C Spencer Yeh among many others.
The Jooklo Trio connects these restless improvisers with New York-based electric bass player Brandon Lopez. Their recording was captured at GSI Studios, Manhattan in August 2018, and was first released by Jooklo’s label Troglosound in a limited edition DIY album (Genta did the artwork, Vanzan the mixing and mastering) of 50 copies, available at shows only, before the Relative Pitch Records did justice with this epic performance and released it anew.
I would recommend watching the Jooklo Duo – or any other incarnation of Genta and Vanza – live and close, to get the full experience, but for the unfortunate ones, «It Is What It Is» comes as close as possible. Just prepare yourself to the utmost intense, brutal, and manic sonic onslaught that a free-improv unit can offer, and then add some tons of reckless punk and death metal aggression. Genta screams and shouts on the amplified soprano and tenor saxes, injecting feedback and distortion noises in generous doses. Lopez does the same with his effects-laden electric bass and Vanzan is all over the drum set. All three musicians never stop for a second their attacks, jumping head-on from one ecstatic climax («Toxic Spit») to another cathartic one («Smile of Insanity» and «Trash Over Rice»). The Jooklo Trio sound as determined to shake the Earth inside-out until it finds its oneness connection to the universe.
34 minutes of magnificent, ecstatic music.
Virginia Genta (amplified ss, amplified ts), David Vanzan (dr, perc), Brandon Lopez (el.b)