John Wolf Brennan / Hans Kennel


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Hans Kennel is a different sort of trumpet player, one who hardly fits any mold. His style looks back, perhaps to the 1950s, yet the Swiss improviser also has performed with moderns such as Steve Lacy and Albert Mangelsdorff. His tone has a distinctly lyrical quality, a full sweetness that is accentuated by the tunes, which appear mostly improvised. On two pieces, he blows Alphorn, which sounds like a French horn. John Wolf Brennan is Kennel's partner on the 18 tracks, where he plays organ instead of his customary piano, and Marc Unternährer joins on a lovely tuba for four selections. At times, the going is a bit slow, to be sure, and with repetitive patterns, isolated notes, extended tones, and minimalist structures, this is far from the kind of innovative avant-garde offerings often appearing on the Leo label. Still, it is a different take, with Charles Ives, Erik Satie, and even a traditional 17th century "melody form Picardie," each contributing to the eclectic diversity of song. The remainder of the "compositions" are by Kennel and Brennan, with the mood distinctly backward looking through the lens of the present.

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