Alex von Schlippenbach Trio

Physics

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Physics? This is more like a plate of steaming clams, or better yet a big pot of hot fish soup. It is 74 minutes of thick, steaming music played by the group that never dies, served up in two lengthy courses. This was recorded early into their second decade of existence. By then the trio had clearly proved the inaccuracy of certain notions that fixed groups do not work in the free improvised genre. Then again, the Schlippenbach trio has a clear connection with the jazz tradition, something that some of the other groups from the European free improvisation scene don't. One can sense a link between the final period of Coltrane, for example, and the playing of Evan Parker, Alexander Schlippenbach, and Paul Lovens, although eliminated is the need for grandiose theme statements to kick the jams into gear. Since modern jazz in the early '90s had been largely running away frightened from the late Coltrane model and retreating into more conservative, commercial realms, one could say this is the trio that is physically carrying the history of jazz forward. Whatever they are doing, it's top notch.

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