«Dawá» documents the first-ever, free-improvised meeting of French, Paris-based trumpeter Timotheé Quost with like-minded Americans, cellist-guitarist Ishmael Ali who splits his time between Chicago and New York and Chicagoan drummer Bill Harris. Quost worked before with Danish sax master Lotte Anker and leads his quintet, Quostet. Ali and Harris work together in another free-improv outfit, the Errata trio, and collaborate in the post-progressive-acid jazz-funk-hip hop septet je’raf. These improvisers add electronics to their arsenal. Their meeting was recorded live at Orotund Music, Chicago in April 2019.
This one-off trio manages to cover many bases in its spontaneous, electro-acoustic journey, moving from wild timbral exploration, through experimenting with raw noises, fleeting, brief rhythmic patterns, and abstract soundscapes to brutal, urgent textures, without attaching itself to any strategy or sonic course. The sudden usage of raw, noisy electronics promises that no one would even try to stick to any pattern or pulse. But out of the high-energy and restless cacophony of the first piece, «Capsaicin», Quost outlines a lyrical theme, rooted in the post-bop legacy, while Al and Harris still insist on conflictual, free-form kind of free-improvisation.
The second piece «Camphor» offers a totally different strategy. It is a sparse and abstract soundscape, subtle but still restless, and focused on patient and methodical, collective timbral research that often flirts with the electronic, explosive noises. This improvisation constantly adds more nuances and colors into its fresh, layered blend of strange, challenging sounds, and only towards its end settles on a loose and fast-shifting rhythmic pattern that allows Quost to develop a complex theme. The third and last piece «Claret» first alternates between a subtle, playful melody, articulated by cellist Ali, and the abrupt sounds and noises and the percussive hammering of Quost and Harris. But later it explores another sparse texture, now over the rolling drums of Harris, with an organic flow and great focus for detail, until, eventually it concludes with a fiery, free-jazz storm.
Timotheé Quost (tp, elec), Ishmael Ali (c, g, elec), Bill Harris (dr, elec)