Freejazz blog

The first album is performed by «The Pitch», a quartet from Berlin, consisting of Boris Baltschun on electric pump organ, Koen Nutters on bass, Morten J. Olsen on vibraphone, and Michael Thieke on clarinet. The band is expanded to become a tentet with the following guest musicians : Lucio Capece on bass clarinet, Johnny Chang on violin, Robin Hayward on tuba, Chris Heenan on contrabass clarinet, Okkyung Lee on cello, and finally Valerio Tricoli on revox. The album consists of two pieces of about twenty minutes : Side A and Side B. So much for the facts.

What you hear is one minimalist drone of sound, solidly supported by the pump organ for its unchanging continuity, while other instruments weave in an out of the texture in barely noticeable yet all too present changes and shifts. The overall atmosphere is heavy and dark, ominous and full of dread. Its the kind of music you would expect to hear in the underworld. Nothing happens but there is no joy either, only a sentiment of resignation and submission to the fate of being where you are, with the occasional recognition of individual voices quickly absorbed by the greater whole. Even if it will not cheer you up, the album is absolutely fascinating to listen to, and it is of a phenomenal austere beauty.

I am not sure how a tentet can be arranged to arrive at this sound, because it really requires all musicians to stay very close to a tonal center, staying very far from what they must be used to get as musical score. That by itself increases the quality of the performance.