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RUPP / TOM / MAHALL

«Olaf Rupp / Kasper Tom / Rudi Mahall
BAREFOOT RECORDS, BFREC059LP

Three experienced improvisers join forces for a live set at Berlin’s Sowieso club on November 2018 – German clarinettist Rudi Mahall, known from Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity Orchestra and Monk’s Casino and the quintet Die Enttäusshung; Danish drummer Kasper Tom Christensen, who frequently have collaborated with Mahall before in his own quintet, the Fusk quartet, in a trio with von Schlippenbach and in a duo; and German electric guitarist Olaf Rupp, who have collaborated before with Mahall in different trios but this is his first recording with Kasper Tom.

The addition of Rupp to the close, intimate dialogues of Mahall and Kasper Tom colors this live recordings with urgent, risk-taking essence. Rupp is a dominant improviser, but one that opens the interplay to free-form, abstract courses. He has developed his own way of suggesting a flow and motion in music by exploring dense murmurations of notes. The intrinsic colour of every note is more important than the melodic or harmonic burden which the listener may or may not put on it.

The eight, free-improvised pieces attempt to balance between Mahall and Kasper Tom’s strong sense of melody and flow and Rupp’s idiosyncratic manners of offering a different sense of flow and motion. Mahall and Kasper Tom tend to suggest more reserved, conversational and lyrical themes, while Rupp instantly contrasts their ideas into tense with dense clusters of aggressive eruptions or abstract strokes of sounds. Slowly the three improvisers establish a common ground. First they lock on a similar approach as on «Dangerous Goods» and later even even a weird kind of playful interplay on «Wald», where Kasper Tom insists on decisive, powerful drumming, and finally agree on a peaceful truce on «Dirt».

Eyal Hareuveni

Rudi Mahall (cl, bcl), Olaf Rupp (g), Kasper Tom (dr)

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