Reto Senn

Minute Age

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This is the debut by a trio of Swiss musicians who may as well be anarchists with their approach to improvisation. Their sense of humor in song titles like "Blue Jeans" and "Kamelodie" evokes senses of things that cannot be evoked in music -- or can they? Woodwind player Reto Senn, pianist John Wolf Brennan, and percussionist Margrit Rieben like noise; they like chaos and the immediate thrill-seeking fun of improvisation. That's obvious. But these three don't make racket for no reason no matter how absurd their titles (and nothing is absurd in Minute Age; who knows how many time universes really lie under our measurement of 60 seconds?) their communication on a bandstand is anything but. This is a band whose sense of developing extended tonalities, fragmented harmonics, and rhythmic interplay is nothing less than wondrous. They take to one another as three authorities, aggressively digging into each other's strengths and weaknesses for clues as to how to proceed onto the next ideas, and when they find them, timbral madness and recreation occur. It's too tempting to over-intellectualize a record like this, but in truth, the sheer delight of its considerable invention is in the hearing. This is a trio to watch.

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