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Martin Küchen, Agustí Fernandez, Zlatko Kaučič

The Steps That Resonate

Label: Not Two Records

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock

Uniquely orchestrated with all three members bringing a trove of objects & percussion, the trio of Martin Küchen on saxophones, Agustí Fernández on piano and Zlatko Kaučič on drums are heard in this two-part live concert at BUMF festival in Smartno, Slovenia, for a superb example of intent listening and use of space around confident, stunningly creative & virtuosic playing.

"Dispensing with the double bass and its rhythmic pulse is only a risky matter if a band faces unexpected breaches in musical strategies. There's no chance of that happening on these well-paced sets, since the groups involved are well acquainted with split second decision making during instant improvising.

[...] the players on The Steps that Resonate resonate one extended and one brief encore dedicated to tussling, sometimes brawling, high-octane Free Music. Each is a veteran of that genre. Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaucic plays with partners like Evan Parker; Catalan pianist Agustí Fernández, works with Parker, Barry Guy and many others; while Swedish saxophonist Martin Kuchen has recorded solo sets and with everyone from Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten to Raymond Strid.

Stopping infrequently for brief quiet refueling, Küchen/Fernández/Kaučič begin with a collective pounding that's one-part rugged drum crashes, one-part dynamic keyboard pressure and one-part rooster crowing reed shrills. The three operate at that elevated level for almost the next 40 minutes. Along the way the saxophonist unearths nearly every manner of extended reed techniques, with his parts peppered with pinched yelping and buzzing, continued tongue slaps and tongue stops, strident overblowing and piercing split-tone screams. Shaking metal objects, squeezing plush toys as well as clanking and clattering regular drum kit parts and cymbals, Kaučič maintain a percussive overlay that squires, shifts and shoves the interface. Not to be outdone, Fernández not only vibrates the keyboards with dynamic, staccato patterns, but also rumbles low tones from the woody parts of the piano and strums and pinches the instrument inner strings, something juggling items upon them.

After the saxophonist's stretched duck calls and aviary gargles are met by piano soundboard rumbles and descending drum slaps, a brief interlude of stopped piano keys rattling and straight ahead trebly vibrations from the saxophonist adds emotional resonance to the situation. Shortly afterwards however all three revert to energetic output with Fernández sweeping what could be a metal comb across the strings for added resonance, Küchen snarling and whining tsopranino timbres and Kaučič's slaps and rattles keeping pace. Finally they reach a crescendo of trilling cries, doits and smeared vibrations from the saxophonist that coupled with drum nerve beats and simultaneous keyboard battering reaches a point of no return and dissolves into silence. In response to audience demands the brief coda reaches some semblance of the initial commotion, but is a bit superfluous since the trio members have said all they needed to in the first instance.[...]" - Ken Waxman

Cat. number: MW 1025-2
Year: 2022
Recorded at BCMF festival Šmartno - Goriška Brda, Slovenia, September 9, 2021. Recorded and mastered by Iztok Zupan - October 2021. On CD cover only one track is given but on a CD player two tracks are revelead (with applause at the end of tr.1).

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