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MUSIC Album reviews with Chris Searle

Latest releases from Tiger Trio, Somersaults Trio and Association of Musical Marxists

Tiger Trio
Map of Liberation
(Rogueart Records)
★★★★★

THIS trio creates scintillating free music. French bass virtuoso Joelle Leandre, Chicagoan multi-flutist Nicole Mitchell and New York-based pianist Myra Melford — the Tiger Trio — are musical cartographers creating contours of a new timbral world in their Map of Liberation.

Each track exemplifies a shared individual and collective quality, from Patience and Welcome to Humility and Honesty, all express a beauty of improvisation and instant melody-making.

Leandre, with her deeply plucked subterranean lyricism on Patience, Mitchell, with a soaring flight of birdlike notes on Courage and the inventiveness of Melford's lucidly struck keyboard patterns on Compassion all explore their own sonic newfoundlands.

Such is the unity of this astonishing trio that, as the album moves on, the listener begins to imagine that this is the sound universe of a single multi-human being.

Brilliant.

Somersaults Trio
Numerology of Birdsong
(West Hill Records)
★★★★★

TOBIAS DELIUS'S clarinet comes rasping out of the drums-and-bass unity of bandmates Mark Sanders and Olie Brice in an adenoidal message akin to a contemporary Pee Wee Russell in the pulsating sound of the Somersaults Trio.

On tenor saxophone, Delius creates a locomotive of notes which guffaw and cry over Sanders's smorgasbord of drums, cymbals and clicking rimshots, while Brice's dexterous bow-work makes his plangent bass gurgle and splutter in the depths of polyrhythmic echoes.

These are conjoined sounds — Sanders swings and rocks, egged on by Delius's reed acerbity and power and Brice stoking rhythm in the trio's engine room.

It's a trio of contrasts, from strident and sometimes irascible horn sounds to moments of gentleness and the provocation of a complex of emotions and the sheer musical optimism of dynamic human solutions.

You can listen to it over and over again.

AMM All-Stars
In this Scrumple No Taste is Fixed
(outtolunchOO@gmail.com)
★★★

HOW do you assess the soundscape of the AMM All-Stars' new album, except by supplementing any new sounds you provoke yourself when walking down the street, sitting in the bath or lying in bed?

AMM are the Association of Musical Marxists and, as you listen to their music, you wonder what the old sage would have made of these sounds as, perhaps making music himself, he made his daily walk along Soho's Dean Street to the Reading Room of the British Museum.

How would he have considered Luke Davis's typewriter or Peter Baxter's table percussion in Stay Time and Gargle or Kit McIntosh's rolling drums in Stars in Focus?

Would he have found music in kicking a stone against railings, splashing his boots in an open sewer or drumming on brickwork?

Or would he have grunted like the vocalist does on Fine Selected Gruntwork and declared in unison with the AMM: “Atonalism is not dead.”

Who knows?

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