Vladimir Tarasov

ATTO II: Monotypes

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The Italian word "atto" means, literally, "action." Action is the fitting definition for these percussion solos in the second of eight volumes -- released in reverse order -- by Russian free jazz drum god Vladimir Tarasov. On volume one, Tarasov focused exclusively on the trap kit; here, he digs further into the percussion pile and uses tabla, small instruments, and even a Yamaha TX7 synthesizer for its rhythmic color palette (primarily in bass-heavy brass sounds, like those that emulate the trombone or tuba). These "monotypes" extend the "pre-lingual" statements he pushed forth on the first volume by using voices -- still inarticulate as statement makers -- in unison as a way of organizing sonic reverie, and the attempt at dialogue to be carried on by drums as voices rather than as extensions of voices. This solidifying of percussive identity reveals itself in myriad manners, gestures, and forms, from the subtle, caressed skin of the tabla as it is entranced by a bell or by the stretched sound of the tuba (synthed) as it accents the shimmering of cymbals and brushed snares. In either case, these are elementally singular events meeting one another on equal, completely foreign ground, and touching one another for the expressed purpose of expression, of writing down their names in sonorous contact and polyvalent architectures that, while they may not speak one idea in unison, still find utterance as a complete experience in the utterance of the other. Never have percussion records opened up the world of musical and vocal language so elementally or completely.

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