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På skive


«Living There»

New York-based sax player Sean Sonderegger has studied composition with Anthony Braxton and Roy Nathanson, with whom he performed extensively. His band, the Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined, is based on musicians that performed with him in Butch Morris’ ensembles and draws inspiration from Sonderegger’s study of many musical traditions as well as his experiences working with Morris, Adam Rudolph, Nathanson and his studies with Anthony Braxton.

«Living There» is the sophomore album of Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined, following «Eat The Air» (Skirl, 2015), and was recorded at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, New Jersey in January 2018. Indian-American opera singer and accordionist Kamala Sankaram replaced vocalist Areni Agbabian, but Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined still enjoys the contributions of close comrades –  trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, guitarist Harvey Valdes and drummer-percussionist Joe Hertenstein and new additions – double bass player Shawn Lovato and drummer-percussionist Pheeroan akLaff.

Sonderegger’s music incorporates aspects of composed elements, poetic texts, driving rhythmic games and collective free- improvisation. The central pieces on «Living There» are based on suggestive poems. The opening «Le dernier degré» by Haitian poet and communist activist René Depestre, one of the most prominent figures in Haitian literature, incorporates Haitian sensual, hypnotic rhythmic patterns and its daring and imaginative arrangement of the operatic voice of Sankaram together with Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined musicians brings to mind the compositions of Henry Threadgill for his Vey Vey Circus and Zooid bands. The second one, «anyone», uses e.e. cummings’ poem «anyone lived in a pretty how town» transforms beautifully the non-conformist spirit of the poem to Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined unconventional but tempting arrangement, with Sankaram’s passionate singing the poem as if she was part of the poem’s love story.

The shorter pieces employ Sankaram’s impressive vocal range and her free-associative vocalizations as an instrument and offer urgent, fast-shifting and often quite eccentric playful games. On «Las Cuatro Esquinas» Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined even quotes the chorus of The Mamas and the Papas’ «California Dreaming» and injects fusion pyrotechnics to New Orleans-ian march theme on “Las Cuatro Esquinas”.

Would love to hear more, and soon, of Sonderegger’s Magically Inclined magical combination with Sankaram.

Eyal Hareuveni

Sean Sonderegger (ts, bs), Kamala Sankaram (v, acc), Curtis Fowlkes (tb), Harvey Valdes (g), Shawn Lovato (b), Joe Hertenstein (dr, perc), Pheeroan akLaff (dr, perc)


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