First Silence is the Swiss trio Noisy Minority's first CD. After having almost completed a studio album, the musicians (Omri Ziegele on alto saxophone and vocals, Jan Schlegel on electric bass, Dieter Ulrich on drums) decided to use a live recording instead -- their performance at the Schaffhausen Jazz Festival in May 1998. The trio works in a way similar to the Clusone 3: The pieces are composed (by Ziegele), but the way they are segued into suites is improvised. So First Silence contains two "spontaneous suites," as the band calls them. The comparison with Clusone 3 ends here: Noisy Minority does not hold standards in its songbook. Also, if the trio's sound is clearly affiliated to jazz, it also often crosses over to rock and even punk, putting it somewhere between Han Bennink's outfit and Palinckx. Tracks like "Beautifulfillness" ally soulful jazz saxophone playing and free improv. On others, like "Chat: Don'ts" and "Man, Mad, Lost," Ziegele drops his horn and starts declaiming poems, backed by the rhythm section. When this setting occurs, one thinks of the Fall. But these styles should not be viewed as contrasts or extremes; in the suites they become homogenous and form a distinctive identity. This debut CD reveals a promising trio. Fans of Clusone 3 and avant-rock will be interested.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture