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Denman Maroney, Earl Howard

Fire Song

Label: Erstwhile Records

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Maybe the words of the author of our 'record of the year 1999' (Dean Roberts) will not be enough for you to try to obtain this cd. Maybe also because it's so difficult to obtain, and also because no other magazine will speak about it here in Italy, because it arrives on a small -- but already extraordinary --label without distribution in our country. What a shame!

Earl Howard (he's played with Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Takehisa Kosugi, George Lewis and Richard Teitelbaum, but has rarely recorded) plays alto sax and synth; Denman Maroney gives life to his Hyperpiano, a piano whose strings are played with various wood, metal, rubber objects, plastic bottles, knives,...('not' a prepared piano). The two have played together sporadically since 1975, when they recorded a version of Stockhausen's Kurzwellen with the Negative Band. The first two pieces of their cd are a duet for hyperpiano and synth and a solo for hyperpiano. Nothing here that reminds us of already known releases: the piano seems to become a guitar, a gamelan percussion, a microscopic 'microwave', a banjo, an organ, and plays with a synth, also unusual and unpredictable.

It's jazz that becomes contemporary music and vice versa, that sometimes recalls John Wall's sonorities; 'wagnerian crescendos' which become so little and intimate and then disappear. 'Pulse field' is another duet, with the thunderous and heavy sounds of the piano, echoed by a shy conversing sax. At the end, a solo sax piece, 'Orchid', quite classical and a bit distant from the mood of the preceeding pieces, sometimes nocturnal, melancholic and conversational. Keep an eye on Erstwhile and its releases: it's one of those little labels (Boxmedia, Gentle Giant, Tautology, Slub, Jumbo, Intransitive) that let us dream of really unimagined new possibilities for improvised music. (BlowUP - S.I. Bianchi)

Cat. number: erstwhile 003
Year: 2000

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