To play the baritone saxophones, and only these saxophones, the way the Danish Johs Lund and Henrik Pultz Melbye play you need a stamina of a daredevil viking, lungs of a huge whale and a state of mind of a Zen monk. These two experimental musicians – Lund, one of the founding members of both the Copenhagen-based club, Mayhem, and the musicians collective Yoyooyoy, and Pultz Melbye, member of the alternative groups Svin and Motherfucker, began their saxophone duo in the spring of 2016 and recorded their debut album in June 2017, at the Mayhem.
Both Lund and Pultz Melbye have explored before the solo saxophone sonic spectrum. Lund investigated almost all the saxophone family and recorded before a duo of baritone saxophones with Mats Gustafsson (the 7” «Play Baritone Saxophone», Yoyooyoy, 2011) and a solo baritone album («Play Baritone Saxophone», Aether productions & Yoyooyoy, 2016). Pultz recorded a solo tenor saxophone album last year («Frogs/Toads», Insula Jazz, 2017).
The three untitled pieces suggest dustinct strategies for this format, all rely on repetitive motifs mixed with extended, circular breathing techniques, with no breaks or pauses. All these piece were recorded in one take, with no overdubs. «1» offers a kind of shock therapy – rapid attacks of urgent, furious blows from the school of Peter Brötzmann and Gustafsson. Lund and Pultz Melbye manage to sustain their manic intensity throughout the 16-minutes of this tasking piece without losing its tension, focus or an ounce of their energy. «2» adopts Philip Glass’ minimalist compositional ideas but compacts the cyclical, repetitive progression to a tighter, denser form. Lund already dedicated the first side of his solo baritone album to Glass, and on this piece sound as Lund and Pultz Melbye take one of Glass dance pieces or soundtracks and pushing the speed pedal way over beyond its known limits. «3» offer a delicate treat, totally different from the previous powerful, highly disciplined pieces. Lund and Pultz Melbye sketch an almost static, hypnotic drone that may surprise the innocent listener with its immediate emotional impact or its suggestive power that can easily put any troubled mind in a state of compassionate trance.
Johs Lund (bs), Henrik Pultz Melbye (bs)