Mike Khoury--violin, little instruments
Piotr Michalowski--alto & bass clarinets, baritone, tenor, soprano & sopranino saxophones, little instruments
abzu recordings 001
"One of my top 10 of 2003, this is a mesmerizing work that showcases the musicianship of these three visionaries: Piotr Michalowski (alto and bass clarinet, baritone, tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones, little instruments), Mike Khoury (violin, little instruments) and Lenni Bukowski (contra-bass, contra-alto, alto and bass clarinets, alto and bass saxophones, little instruments). Through the course of 11 exquisitely challenging original compositions, the trio paint musically fluid movies of mood and texture that excite, even in their relative quiet...The brilliance of this wonderful recording is that it is at once musically riveting and supremely challenging, but never abrasive. I am fond of music that dares to be grating and abrasive at times, but this is a decided departure. I don't recall another recording over the past few years that has taken this almost brooding tact. It is tremendously exciting. It is an emotionally draining piece of music, as well as wholly exhilarating. " (M. Gallo, JazzReview.com)
"An extremely thoughtful, focused and well matched trio who often remind me of Braxton/AACM style of cautious, spacious improv spirits. Except for Anthony Braxton and his collaborators, we rarely get to hear any contrabass, contra-alto or alto clarinets at length, so this is indeed a treat. Those dry wooden tones and quiet violin abstractions sound great to me. You can tell that these cats have been at it for a while as there is a carefully crafted thread that runs through it all and it sounds as if this is partially charted material. Well thought out, nice use of space and no screaming." (Downtown Music Gallery newsletter January 30, 2004 --NY).
"Moody clarinet, explosive violin, and high-pitched saxophone sounds send the initial message signifying the intensity built into this music, which develops further into an open forum for free interaction of challenging dimensions. Wide diversity marks the tonal range pouring from these musicians' instruments, giving the program a deep bottom, robust midrange, and exhilarating high end. Bukowski and Michalowski both play alto/bass clarinets and baritone saxophone in addition to several other reed varieties, and although stage positioning is not noted, one can surmise the specific source using the location depicted on the liner photo-graph. They encompass Khoury in a ring of aural warmth, and together the three artists weave complicated threads into an integrated pattern marked by passion and compassion." (Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine 30/1, January 2004 p. 48.)
"I adore this CD, with its extreme delicacy and its learned phrasing at times reminiscent of the World Saxophone Quartet, of contemporary music (more than improvisation), or of the impressionist music of the early 20th century. Without having any formal rhythm, a rhythmic current flows intensely through the breathing that calls from one musician to another. They develop a taste for harmonizing, a search for just the right vibration, nourish their own palpitation. Each plays one his own part (and even if that's the very a-b-c of improvisation, it's rare to see it done to such perfection, and without pretentiousness), the tempo vibrates and exists without haste, without any thought other than of playing. This music is of a rare breed." (NoÃ«l Tachet, Improjazz nÂ° 106, June 2004, translated from the French)
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