MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — Inti (review)

MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS — Inti album cover Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
kev rowland
There has been a change to both the band name and line-up since the Machine Mass Trio’s debut in 2011, as although Michel Delville is still here on guitars and electronics, and fellow douBt colleague Tony Bianco is still providing the drums, they have a new saxophonist/flautist in the shape of legendary Dave Liebman. Known as one of the hardest working saxophonists in jazz, he has released more than a hundred albums as either band leader or co-leader, and has guested on many hundreds more, with credentials that are second to none. Note, there are only three musicians and this album was recorded in a single afternoon, with first takes used for the most part. Both Michel and Tony trigger loops and sounds while they are playing, using computers to assist with the load, and some of the loops are themselves more than 100 bars long. It certainly never seems that there are only three musicians involved, and certainly not that the whole thing was recorded without any overdubs.

That they are all consummate musicians is never in doubt, and the way that they support each other within the framework of a song is quite astounding. The drumming on “In a Silent Way” really takes the song to a totally different level, with Michel and Dave playing quite gently and in a very controlled manner, which is the total opposite of what Tony is delivering from behind the kit. It is this dichotomy of sound, the use of structures and arrangements that should never really fit together that makes this album work as well as it does. This is a fresh landscape, new, exciting and vibrant. There are vocals on just the one song, “The Secret Place”, which are provided by Saba Tewelde, and while it is interesting, I did find this is something of a distraction to the rest of the album as there isn’t the same feeling of adventure and vitality.

But that is just a minor niggle, as overall this is an album that fans of modern jazz really ought to be seeking out. www.moonjune.com



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