Sainkho Namtchylak

Live

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This live duo improvisation will test the mettle of all but the fairly ardent free noise fan. Korean alto saxophonist Kang Tae Hwan had worked with numerous members of the Japanese avant-garde (including Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M.) and several Americans such as Ned Rothenberg, while Tuvan free vocalist Sainkho Namchylak had collaborated with a great number of musicians from across the spectrum. The first piece is actually a subdued and even meditative number, with Hwan's alto evoking shakuhachi-like textures and Namchylak tending toward soft, percussive sounds. Each musician has a solo spot, the vocalist's one of nasal grunts and sputters, the saxophonist's a long series of split and held tones very reminiscent of some of Roscoe Mitchell's early work. The concluding piece, with screeching alto work and Namchylak imitating some especially irritating avian life, is tough sledding, but the commitment and imagination displayed over the course of the disc makes this a potentially rewarding listen for adherents of the further reaches of free improvisation.

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