«Aforismos» is the debut album of a new trio featuring Cologne-based Portuguese drummer Vasco Furtado and German alto sax player Luise Volkmann and German with Wuppertal-based vibes player Salome Amend. The trio played together for the first time in a festival for improvised music and the second was already for a recording session that was totally improvised in Bonn in January 2021. Furtado is known for his collaborations with prolific Portuguese improvisers like sax players Albert Cirera and José Lencastre, double bass player Hernâni Faustino and guitarist Luís Lopes. Volkmann played live with Eve Risser, Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura, Steve Beresford and Eivind Lønning. Amend has worked with Wuppertal’s legend Peter Brötzmann and on interdisciplinary cultural cooperation in the fields of dance, art and literature.
It is clear from the first seconds «Aforismos» why this trio rushed into the studio. The trio has developed minimalist but highly suggestive dynamics that often are based on brief, introspective gestures. Volkmann’s tone on the opening piece, «Folk Song» suggests echoes of Jan Garbarek’s sax (who played Charlie Haden’s song by the same name, with Haden and Egberto Gismonti on «Folk Songs», ECM, 1981). The rhythmic support of Furtdao and Amend is subtle yet colorful, stressing and expanding the sonorities of the whispering, fractured sax playing of Volkmann on the quiet «Mechanismus».
The 28-minute «Intuitions» demonstrated best the introverted, sparse dynamics of the trio. Furtado and Amend caress and ornament the ethereal melodic thread sketched by Volkmann, with soft, resonating percussive touches that add at first mysterious, ritualist aroma to this improvisation. But slowly Furtado and Amend shift the introspective interplay with subversive, enigmatic sounds and lead this piece into a playful, rhythmic coda. The following, 15-minute «Luft und Boden» distills this rhythmic vein into sparse but precise percussive touches that offer again a ritualist atmosphere, with Volkmann employing the sax keys to solidify this percussive effect. The last piece «Long Way Home» offers an almost silent, dreamscape made of stifled breaths and delicate, suggestive touches of the vibes and the skins of the drums.
Vasco Furtado (dr), Salome Amend (vib), Luise Volkmann (as)