petak, 21. lipnja 2013.

Joachim Badenhorst - The Jungle He Told Me (2013)

Klarinetom i saksofonom otkrivati džunglu u praznom prostoru.


The Jungle He Told Me is Joachim’s first solo album. It consists out of nine pieces on clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone. Badenhorst explores range, contrasting undertones and overtones often played simultaneously, weaving in melody, noise and drones, if not investigating a theme, a path. This is a fantastic display of Badenhorst’s vocabulary and ideas, and already a milestone within the Belgian improv tradition. -

Belgian reed player Joachim Badenhorst has been involved in all sorts of projects over the years (including Baloni and Han Bennink Trio but the list is as long as my telescopic robot arm) and on ‘The Jungle He Told Me’ he’s going it alone for the very first time, offering a series of improvisations for clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor sax which are far less difficult than I had anticipated.
Badenhorst has an understated style, opting for sultry melodies and passages of hypnotic repeated shapes which on occasion conjure up a Colin Stetson-esque whirlwind of sound, while elsewhere he’ll drone breathily, allowing the notes to crack and buzz and shudder, exposing and toying with the physical limits of the instruments he’s manipulating. There’s no Mats Gustafsson style jazz skronk going on, it’s much more about Badenhorst taking the listener on a journey through a series of sonic meditations and contorted, alien sounds. Even when he does up the tempo and volume on tracks like ‘Tenor’ there’s still a sense of control and an underlying rhythm anchoring everything.
I think it’s his restraint which really sets this apart, since it’s a quality many freeform players simply throw out of the window when they’re letting rip. I love it when he quietens down to almost nothing and it’s all breath and spit and valve noise, blurting out casual, nimble-fingered shapes into the air. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys free sax/clarinet improvisations this is a pretty essential listen, remarkable and unique and (to my ears) thoroughly listenable (although the resident Norman saxophobes are insisting I turn it off now because “we’re all going to go mad here”). - Norman Records

Belgian reed player Joachim Badenhorst has been busy in the last five years. He is a member of the forward-thinking outfits of Dutch drummer Han Bennink, American saxophonist Tony Malaby, German trumpeter Thomas Heberer  and many other working bands. His first solo album, a limited edition vinyl, reveals Badenhorst as a versatile musician well-versed in the history of modern jazz, free jazz and free improvisation, with his own personal sound—searching and thoughtful yet warm and emotional.
Badenhorst has mastered reed instrument extended techniques pioneered by innovative musicians including Eric DolphyJoe McPhee Evan Parker and John Butcher and transformed them into his own vocabulary. On each of the nine improvised compositions, he explores a different musical path with great detail, imagination and emotional depth. He begins by introducing his instruments. The quiet "Klarinet" is a focused, reserved investigation of a disjointed theme. The more experimental "Basklarinet" is structured around a dark humming drone, in which the instrument is simply a vehicle for mutating air flow, later contrasted with brief, melodic variations. On "Tenor" he uses circular breathing to create a detailed polyphonic narrative that gets increasingly stronger and louder. He explores beautiful, haunting melodies on "Djilatendo" and "Rafel romp." On "Djilatendo" he uses minimal repetition, while on "Rafel romp" he employs thoughtful intervals. "Ek stamel ek sterwe" is a return to the experimental mode of sonic search that blossoms into a fiery free improvisation. Badenhorst's heartfelt dedication to McPhee on "X" harkens back to McPhee's interpretation of the tenor saxophone's history. The quiet "Singing the Blues" is a warm tribute to Dolphy's harmonic abstractions. "Tafel stomp" blends Badenhorst's tendency to explore melodic, warm themes with a need to investigate its pragmatics from a more adventurous angle. Badenhorst discovers a colorful and arresting jungle of sounds, full of brilliant, original ideas. - Eyal Hareuveni

There is nothing as strange as one musician on his own, struggling with his instrument in empty space, trying to shout weep sing jubilate rage with personal feelings by wrestling new tones and sounds out of this piece of concrete matter, playing alone with aesthetics and norms, hopefully trying to get the thinking stilled, letting the sounds produce themselves as if you are the instrument, or as if the instrument is you. And as in other solo recordings, you are on your own, naked and vulnerable with absolutely nowhere to hide. But that also makes it incredibly fascinating to listen to, if well played. 
The first solo clarinet album I ever heard was Evan Ziporyn's "This Is Not A Clarinet", a mesmerizing album vaccilating between classical avant-garde and more free forms. Of course the following albums are also easy to recommend, starting with the great John Carter. - Stef @

JOACHIM BADENHORST(°1981) is a Belgian reed player, improvisor and composer, who divides his time between NYC and Belgium.Over the last 5 years Joachim has released a number of albums with different projects, such as Baloni, Han Bennink Trio, Rawfishboys, Taro, Tony Malaby’s Novela, Thomas Heberer’s Clarino, Mogil, Polylemma, Os Meus Shorts, International Trio, Red Rocket and Equillibrium.

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