RARA AVIS — Mutations / Multicellulars Mutations (review)

RARA AVIS — Mutations / Multicellulars Mutations album cover Album · 2013 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
Free jazz, once considered an anachronism from the late 60s, has managed to maintain its devotees over the years and has even increased its popularity in the new century so much that just like any previous genre of jazz, from Dixieland to hard bop, free jazz has found its permanent place in the “big tent“ world of modern jazz. Unfortunately, this increase in popularity has also brought about a decrease in originality and musicality as well. Too often, in today’s jazz world, free jazz and other avant-garde styles are synonymous with amateur performances and naïve attempts at originality from those who lack background. There was a time when the label “avant-garde” would immediately grab my interest, these days I’m more apt to see the label as a warning towards impending boredom.

Having said all that, hearing the new double CD by Rara Avis, “Mutations/Multicellulars Mutations”, restored my faith in the viability of modern free jazz when placed in the hands of those who know how to make this stuff work. Rara Avis is a new project led by the saxophone duo of Ken Vandermark and Stefano Ferrian, aided by Luca Pissavini on acoustic bass, Simon Quatrana on piano and SEC_ on electronics plus live electronic treatments of the acoustic instruments. The use of electronics on here is very nice and adds so much variety to their sound. On “Gene Flow”, the woodwinds hold long notes so that the electrician can bend and change the notes causing their sounds to bounce around the speakers.

The music on here varies from very busy all-out free assaults, to quieter moments that allow the electronics to twist things. One big plus on here is the playing itself, these guys are all top notch jazz musicians, and it shows in the constant stream of notes they unleash when they decide to go that route. The variety of improvisations on here may remind some of Art Ensemble of Chicago, Threadgill’s Air or Circle, while the use of electronics recalls the exotic days of 60s concert hall music when composers like Davidovsky and Teitlebaum would write pieces for computer controlled synthesizers and acoustic instruments. This album is far better than any other free jazz record I have heard in a long time.

Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Steve Plews Quartet : Cold War Post Bop
STEVE PLEWS
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Gershwin Playground World Fusion
GUY MINTUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live In New York & L.A. Fusion
BOB HOLZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Le*Silo - 3.27830 (Full Album)
LE SILO る*しろう
js· 6 hours ago
Humble Mushroom
DAVID LORD
js· 8 hours ago
The Nearness Of You
MIKKEL PLOUG
js· 8 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us